How the Art World Caught Archive Fever
… Of course, the archive is hardly a new theme in contemporary art. The art historian Hal Foster‘s 2004 essay “The Archival Impulse” defined archival art as a genre that “make[s] historical information, often lost or displaced, physically present. To this end [archival artists] elaborate on the found image, object, and favor the installation format.” Whether this happens in the form of projects dealing with real archival material or artworks in which artists use the archive as a theme (sometimes even inventing material), the idea of the archive continues to be an undeniable force and organizing structure in exhibitions today. Here we break down the basics of this complicated yet intensely contemporary genre, which easily elides from the hyper-researched to the totally surreal….