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The Performing Archive:
Deep Archival Engagement as Artistic Practice

October 13–November 16, 2017


The Nameless

Lingnan University’s Department of Cultural Studies, in collaboration with Asia Art Archive, presents a series of workshops, screenings, and masterclasses to investigate how archives perform history.

An archive, by common assumption, is an assembly of information to be used for governance. However, in recent years, official archives have been increasingly revealed as flawed, their data contaminated and distorted. The rise of independent archives, assembled by individuals and small institutions, has become an important part of the struggle to keep public memory alive.

As a result, major innovations have taken place in the very practice of archiving – by artists, activists and academics - that have transformed our engagement with what an archive is, what it contains, how it is both accessed and inhabited. The archive is also an environment, needing skills that combine navigating the everyday with the ability to read beyond the surface of yellowed paper and decaying celluloid. Replacing the clarity of hindsight is a new and opposite desire: to re-muddy history, to show how the past continues to live in the present, to explore the entanglement of erasure, amnesia, visibility, and invisibility.

The Performing Archive project coincides with the presence of Prof. Ackbar Abbas at Lingnan University, and is designed to engage with his recent writings. Over the years Abbas has drawn attention to ways by which to read intowhat is there as well as that which is missing, erased, or invisible to a certain kind of gaze. Such an approach is crucial to understanding how the archive plays out today, as a formal entity and as an informal agglomeration.

Click here for a full schedule of the workshops, screenings, and masterclasses led by scholars, filmmakers, artists, and researchers from across cultural studies, film theory, art history, public policy and advocacy.

Curated by: Ashish Rajadhyaksha

Presented by:
Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University, in collaboration with Asia Art Archive
Supported by:
Faculty of Arts, Lingnan University
Kwan Fong Cultural Research and Development Programme, Lingnan University
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust
Grateful acknowledgment: The Media Creativity course (Instructor: Eunsoo Lee), Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University

To register:
Enquiry: 26167676

Ventriloquizing archives
Hong Kong's ghosts : the politics of disappearance
Masterclass : Ackbar Abbas