INVITATIONS - ARCHIVE AS EVENT


Curator for the collaborative, practice-based-research project „Invitations – Archive as Event“ (2018-2021) between Archiv der Avantgarden (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden), Freie Universität Berlin and Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin on the collection of invitation cards. The project, which presents a selection of 100 invitations from the avant-gardes, develops a lively archive model that activates concepts of Liveness and Performativity as spaces of experience. In includes the  creation of a website "ada-invitations.de", a publication and a performative exhibition program between all project partners. Team: Rudolf Fischer, Annette Jael Lehmann, Helene Romakin, Anna-Lena Werner


As opposed to works of art, invitations to artistic and cultural events are „knotty objects“ that mark information about a network of participating protagonists and institutions. They give hints to their utopias and their practices, and to how these have migrated geographically and historically. The invitations‘ aesthetics, their rhetoric and announced programs often mirror social and political movements from the time they were created. Similar to time capsules these historical documents transport a fictional temporality, by announcing future events that have not taken place at the time of their design.

The collaborative practice-based-research project „Invitations – Archive as Event“ (2018-2020) run by Archiv der Avantgarden (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden), Freie Universität Berlin and Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin traces this potential eventfulness, by randomly researching and selecting 100 invitations from the 20th Century. All analysed documents are part of the Archiv der Avantgarden (AdA), which comprises approximately 1,5 million objects collected by Egidio Marzona since the 1960s. As its youngest institution, the AdA is part of the Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden since 2016. Additionally, a smaller archive inventory of the former Collection Marzona is located at Staatliche Museen zu Berlin since 2002. Moving to the Blockhaus in Dresden after its renovation, the Archiv der Avantgarden is currently located in an interim inside the Japanisches Palais in Dresden and will be catalogued and digitalised for the first time. The large collection unfolds idiosyncratic and often unknown insights into relevant moments of the history of art, which have significantly affected today’s cultural developments.

As practice-based-research, the project „Invitations – Archive as Event“ develops a lively archive model that activates concepts of Livenessand Performativity as spaces of experience. It attempts to contribute expanding and transforming established repertoires of work, agency and mediation of an archive as a best-practice example. Along the selection of 100 exemplary invitations, a group of contemporary artists, curators, students and researchers employ digital and analogue publication and presentation formats, in order to create a performative narrativisation of the historical (neo-) avant-gardes. Placing the invitations in the context of our present time, both their potential of actualisation and their influences on canonical processes are being critically analysed. This will be realised through performative, artistic and academic formats and practices –– always with a focus on the printed matter of the invitation and particularly the event that it announces.

This website does not only present the successive selection of the 100 invitations from the years between 1910 to 1990, it also serves as a platform for the academic and artistic research, it documents internal working processes and it facilitates in-depth research for visitors through various sorting and reading options. By means of contextualising keywords and associative links related to the material, the website offers visualising thematic mapping on the „Index“ page, while it simultaneously allows chronological browsing, as well as reading the invitations through categories such as places, movements and genres. An analogue publication and a performative series of events at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and Goethe Institut Brasil are currently being planned for 2020.

„Invitations – Archiv als Ereignis“ (2018-2020) is a collaborative research project by the Freie Universität Berlin, the Archiv der Avantgarden (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden), Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin and Goethe Institut Brasilien. The project receives friendly support from the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. It is part of HKW’s project „The New Alphabet“, supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media due to a ruling of the German Bundestag.

Team:
Dr. Rudolf Fischer, Research management (AdA, SKD Dresden), Coordination
Prof. Dr. Annette Jael Lehmann, Research management (FU Berlin), Coordination
Anna-Lena Werner (Ph.D.) (FU Berlin), Project Curator and editor
Helene Romakin (AdA, SKD Dresden), Assistant Curator and editor
Stefan Aue (HKW), Project management The Whole Life Academy, (HKW) Archive-Cooperation