The Voids in the Archives as a Critical Practice
Annette Maechtel (Universität der Künste Berlin)
Paper short abstract:
The paper revisits the voids and missing representations of the heterogenous group Botschaft e.V. and their activities in post-Wall Berlin as ephemeral and indeterminate practices dealing with regimes of power in a specific historical context.
Paper long abstract:
The contribution revisits the heterogenous group Botschaft e.V. as an example of spatial and cultural practice in post-Wall Berlin (1990-1996) in regard to their representational practices. The group opened up on a temporary base social spaces for music, exhibitions, discussion, workshops and/or lectures as alternatives to existing educational, music and art institutions and markets. With the distance of more than 25 years, it appear that not much has been historized in form of catalogues, documentations or other forms of representation. This is generally explained, by the fact that this was the time before digitalization and a chaotic situation, so that there was neither time nor opportunity to document. Following Derrida, historizations and archival procedures always go hand in hand with regimes of power, which is why only certain "configurations" or narratives, historiographies and productions of knowledge are perpetuated whereas others are not taken into account. The paper wants to reconstruct the missing representations as ephemeral and indeterminate practices dealing with regimes of power and being concerned with questions of exclusion and inclusion in the context of (re-) presentations of history in a specific historical context. As nowadays registered voids in the archives they challenge in recourse to Foucault the "two bodies" of the archive and elucidate the distinction between archives in the plural as an institution of deposited knowledge and archive in the singular as an archival method.
Conflict and Activism