[artinfo] An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life
info at mailer.e-flux.com
Sun Jul 24 13:16:24 CEST 2005
An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life
organized by Lauri Firstenberg and Anton Vidokle
e-flux is pleased to present An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary
Life, a multi-phase project that begins as an online photographic
archive ( located at
) and makes publicly available for the first time over five thousand
images from the 20th century. The source for this material is the
collection of Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros, who compiled
the photographs over the course of his own extraordinary life.
The archive-unique in structure, content and intention-was explicitly
meant for the use of fellow artists as a means of inspiration and a
source of found imagery. As Siqueiros wrote, "Nothing can give the
[artist] of today the essential feeling of the modern era's dynamic
and subversive elements more than the photographic document." In
keeping with his wishes, the contents of An Image Bank for Everyday
Revolutionary Life are now being organized for access by artists and
researchers. The custodians of Siqueiros' project intend to introduce
the archive to contemporary art audiences and to extend the useful
life of its photographs.
The content of the archive, which spans the 1930s to the early 1970s,
offers cultural and social portraits of several eras and nations. The
collection contains photographic documents that capture a range of
events from political protest to film and theatre performances, from
anti-fascist demonstrations in New York and riots in Los Angeles to
moments in the Russian stage and Mexican cinema. As the title of the
project suggests, the archive offers a politicized vision developed
in the context of revolutionary struggles in Mexico and abroad.
The photographic archive, approximately half of which is now
available as a digital image bank, is organized according to
Siqueiro's original categories, which include "Architecture,"
"Objects," "People and Historical Figures," "Models," "Painting,"
"Sculpture," "Workers and Industry" and "Misery." The original
archive, from which An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life is
drawn, is housed at Sala de Arte Publico Siqueiros (SAPS) in Mexico
City. In the 1960s, while Siqueiros was engaged in both art and
activism, he converted his house in the Polanco district of the city
into a public art space. The house now functions both as a museum for
Siqueiros' work and a contemporary art venue.
The SAPS archive will serve as the point of departure for the second
phase of the project, in which an international group of artists and
writers will be invited to work with the archive's material. This
collaboration will result in a traveling exhibition beginning at
REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater) in Los Angeles
(February-April 2006) and will travel to Sala de Arte Publico
Siqueiros, Mexico DF, in the fall of 2006.
For further information please write to imagebank at e-flux.com
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