Tabakalera presents The Day After, an exhibition by the artist Maryam Jafri, co-produced by Bétonsalon, an art and research centre in Paris, and Tabakalera. The project was presented last March in the French capital. On this occasion, the artist has divided the exhibition around the archive and three dimensions of the archive: the archive as an artist’s piece, the archive as a case study and the archive as a property.
1. The archive as an artist’s piece
The starting point for the project is the work Independence Day 1934-1975, which Maryam Jafri started in 2009 and which is still ongoing. This piece brings together photographs from the days of independence of some of the former European colonies in Africa and Asia, which portray the moment when a dependent territory was transformed into a country and state. Taking this piece as an excuse, Bétonsalon initiated a conversation with Maryam Jafri to develop a series of case studies with the aim of reflecting on the various issues and debates that independence and decolonisation processes generate.
2. The archive as a case study
The case studies were carried out by the artist herself, in collaboration with agents related to artistic practices and journalists, researchers, writers, anthropologists and historians. This research, carried out with the help of these professionals, seeks to bring the history of African and Asian countries to the present day, as well as the relationship that they had and maintain now with their former European colonialists. Often, history is presented as unique and universal, but the archive and case studies presented by Maryam Jafri claim history as a story, with many ways of reading it, building it, learning it and experiencing it.
3. The archive as a property
Versus Series would come to question the size of the archive as a property. During the process of researching and looking for sources to obtain graphic documentation on the days of independence, the artist discovered that it was possible to get the same images through various routes. The same photo can have various sources, rights of reproduction and use, thus opening the debate about the ownership and rights of an image being a country's national heritage.
ORRIAK. PUBLICATION THAT ACCOMPANIES THE EXHIBITION:
Read it on Issuu: Orriak - 3
PDF download: Orriak - 3 (pdf - 5.8mb)
The Day After is a project started by Bétonsalon art and research centre and is co-produced by Tabakalera. The Day After was presented at the Blackwood Gallery, in Mississauga, Canada in January 2016.