Archival Grid (2022, video still), © Charlotte Eifler & Clarissa Thieme, 2022

Mar 24–Apr 18, 2022

The Whole Life. Archives & Imaginaries

Talks, installations, performances, screenings, online repository

Mar 24–Apr 18, 2022

Mar 24–26, 2022

Online repository

How do archives influence social realities? Which strategies can be used to decolonize archives in the digital space? Can archives enable alternative ideas of the future?

The Whole Life. Archives & Imaginaries reflects on archives as places for counter-narratives and illuminates the profound links between archives and society. During the three-day congress, artists and scholars will develop alternative narrative forms and research strategies in experimental formats. They demonstrate how comprehensively archives, as infrastructures of preservation, perpetuate hegemonic thinking. At the same time, we see what methods and practices are necessary in order to make archives usable as a resource for reflecting contemporary questions and for future knowledge production.

In the exhibition, artists unfold their own strategies for dealing with archival material in eight installation-based case studies: Assaf Gruber’s docufictional film Transient Witness provides insight into a world-famous art collection from a dog’s perspective. Charlotte Eifler and Clarissa Thieme’s film installation relates digital technologies, witnessing and coming to terms with war trauma in the former Yugoslavia. Tony Cokes extracts fragments from historical reports of explicit violence and makes it possible to experience what this means for the politics of memory today.

The program was conceived in close collaboration with the international Whole Life Academy and its institutional partners. The website mirrors the research and compiles essays, photographs and videos from the project network in an online repository. Users can connect the material to create dynamic thematic clusters.

Installations by Bini Adamczak, Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro, Chto Delat, Tony Cokes, Charlotte Eifler & Clarissa Thieme, Assaf Gruber, Mobile Academy Berlin, Olaf Nicolai with Nina Akhvlediani

Lectures by and talks with Arjun Appadurai, Mieke Bal, Amanda Boetzkes, Nanna Bonde Thylstrup, Başak Ertür, Avery F. Gordon, Doreen Mende, Monika Rinck, Rasha Salti, Shela Sheikh, Cornelia Sollfrank, Oxana Timofeeva, Kathryn Yusoff among others

Performances by Salim Bayri, Chto Delat, Euripides Laskaridis, Paula Montecinos Oliva, Markus Öhrn with Death, Destruction & Dodos

Screenings with films by Walter Heynowski and Gerhard Scheumann, Mario Marret, Yugantar among others

The first congress was part of The Whole Life. Archives & Reality in May 2019 in Dresden.

Part of The Whole Life: An Archive Project