Boris Buden

Transition to Nowhere

Art in History
after 1989

The series Perspectives brings together practitioners and theorists from different regions on complex and multifaceted subjects allowing them to engage with each other’s arguments and fields of research. Each volume hosts a body of texts providing the perspectives of one author on pivotal issues.
Listen to Boris Buden in conversation with Archive Books’ editor Paolo Caffoni as they discuss art in history and language in history; language as a means of production as well as a commodity; the notions of native speaker and native informant. They also talk about childhood and history; Orientalism and temporalities; the role of the art and the intellectual, on the backdrop of the war in former Yugoslavia.

Today, after Post-Communism has ended in chaos and confusion, we are entitled to ask: was it a condition, or a transition; a rise or a decline; progression, regression or simply a time-lag?
Has it ever shaped its own form of social being, a unique mode of economic production, a politics of its own, a culture? Or was it just another interregnum of history, full of morbid symptoms we cannot get rid of?

Most of the essays in this book search for answers to these questions in works of art. Not because art possesses a superior knowledge on history, but because the knowledge on history we posses has failed in providing those answers. This is a new experience made possible by both art and history, which, in simultaneously facing their end, have come closer to one another than ever before. It is an experience we might possibly learn from.

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IN THE SAME SERIES

Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung

In a While
or Two
We Will Find
the Tone

Essays and Proposals,
Curatorial Concepts,
and Critiques

In a While Two We Will Find the Tone by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung presents, for the first time in one volume, essays and proposals edited anew. Ndikung’s expanded curatorial practice delineates the space of exhibition making as a space of critical thinking and of experimentation. By proximity, these texts echo each other, resonate with each other, interfere with each other, and present perspectives on the political, poetic, and philoso-phical potentials of exhibition making, beyond the tight corset of the discipline itself.

Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, PhD (born in 1977 in Yaoundé, Cameroon), is an independent curator, author and biotechnologist. He is founder and artistic director of SAVVY Contemporary Berlin and editor-in-chief of SAVVY Journal for critical texts on contemporary African art. He was curator-at-large for documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel 2017, artistic director of the 12th Rencontres de Bamako 2019, a biennale for African photography in Mali, as well as guest curator of the 2018 Dak’Art Biennale in Senegal.

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Japanese Expanded

Cinema and Intermedia:
Critical Texts of the 1960s

Edited by Ann Adachi-Tasch,
Go Hirasawa, Julian Ross

Produced by
Collaborative Cataloging Japan

Intermedia and Expanded Cinema, both as critical approach and artistic practice, left an indelible mark in a period of Japanese art history that is broadly considered to be one of its most dynamic moments in the wake of its postwar reemergence.

Despite the burgeoning interest in academic and curatorial circles in this segment of Japanese art history, the paucity of readily available material in a language other that Japanese has meant the local context, particularly the ways in which the terms were critically debated, was relatively neglected.

Through these translations, our hope is that Japanese debates on intermedia can contribute to international discourse, and that works of Japanese Expanded cinema can be preserved, reenacted and analyzed with these discussions.

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Jane Jin Kaisen

Community of Parting

Edited by Anne Kølbæk Iversen
and Jane Jin Kaisen

Published with
The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts,
in collaboration with
Kunsthal Charlottenborg

Community of Parting is an extension and continuation of Jane Jin Kaisen artistic practice. Kaisen brings past and present, the eternal and the temporal into play through layered, performative and multi-voiced, feminist works that explore topics such as memory, war, migration, and borders in a field where individual experiences and collective stories intersect. Her works negotiate and mediate the means of representation, resistance and reconciliation, thus forming alternative genealogies and sites of collective emergence.
Presenting a selection of artworks realized between 2010 and 2020 through installation views and film stills together with a vast array of research material and archival documents, this monograph is the hitherto most comprehensive introduction to the artist’s work. The book is composed of several interwoven voices: Community of Parting’s film script that integrates oral testimonies with poetics by Kim Hyesoon, poetry by Mara Lee, and shamanic ritual chants by Koh Sunahn, accompanied by essay contributions by Heidi Ballet, Anselm Franke, Pujita Guha and Abhijan Toto for the Forest Curriculum, Anne Kølbæk Iversen, Jane Jin Kaisen, Hyunjin Kim, Soyi Kim, Yongwoo Lee, and conversations with Mary Kelly and Kim Seongnae.

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Recent titles

Conversing with Leaves

Conversing with Leaves

Dialogue forms the basis of everything in my artistic practice. I never work in a vacuum, never just in my head or shut away in a studio. I always view myself as being in a dialogue with the world, with others. I travel a lot for my work and I’m dependent on people to talk with locally, on hospitality and collaboration. For some time, I’ve also been interested in the way we can understand plants as actors in history, in other words, not just as passive extras. Of course, plants don’t talk in words, but they are still communicating through smells, colours, or toxins. So conversations always take place on various levels.

Peace with the Earth — Tracing Agricultural Memory, Refiguring Practice

Peace with the Earth — Tracing Agricultural Memory, Refiguring Practice

The artistic enquiry presented in this book responds to the call, made by two Swedish suffragettes and peace activists Elisabeth Tamm (1880–1958) and Elin Wägner (1882–1949) in their pamphlet Fred med Jorden (Peace with the Earth, 1940). Grounded in research into agricultural practices on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, the quotations, documents and photographs of dead and living matter presented in this book testify to ways of living off the land.

Peace with the Earth

Peace with the Earth

The pamphlet Peace with the Earth was published by the Swedish suffragettes and peace activists Elisabeth Tamm and Elin Wägner in 1940, after the outbreak of the Second World War. Elisabeth Tamm served as one of the first women in parliament and was an organic farmer. Elin Wägner worked as a writer and activist on matters of women’s rights, peace, and ecology, and was a member of the Swedish Academy. The authors’ observations and proposals connect questions of agriculture to those of custody of land and habitats, where the ‘arrogant desire’ to own land must be overcome.

Archive Journal n°9

Archive Journal n°9

This issue was initiated by visual artist, researcher and amateur plant breeder Åsa Sonjasdotter to accompany her exhibition and seed propogation project at Project Arts Centre (PAC), Dublin. In collaboration with practitioners of cultivation, the project 'Peace with the Earth – Tracing Agricultural Memory, Refiguring Practice' revisits histories of agriculture. It investigates soil, habitat and dwelling histories, in order to challenge and transform long-established cultural narratives of cultivation and ecological thinking.