Videre (The Archival), 2015, loop video, two-channel digital collage.

Archive Images from Internet Archive Book Images.

Photographic material by Fernando de la Torre.

 

 

Videre (The Archival) was created for an exhibition in which artists were asked to return to analogue photography methods and aesthetics. This process prompted on the one hand to re-consider the act of image making, while, on the other taking them to a state of materiality rarely seen today. Digital images were converted into negatives to be then printed by 19th century chemical methods. Immaterial digital images composed by binary code were made into tangible objects.

The digital collages used in this video, however, take the opposite route by bringing together images from digitalised archives of 19th century India and contemporary images of India in the digital era. These re-mixes raise questions about the de-materialisation of archives, accessibility of information in the age of Internet, authorship and collaboration. In addition the video sheds light upon the hidden layers that these images hold. Which notion to the colonial gaze formed in the 19th century by the classification and categorisation of the other constructed and photographed by european explorers, and how our present-day construct of the exotic has not differed much from this perspective.

 

Text written in conjunction with Curator Julia Libertad for Al Revelar at Vadehra Art Gallery.