Living Archive

Living Archive: Stars and Stripes Forever, Van Abbemuseum, 2008-2009. Foto Peter Cox

It is not the past but the future that gives the Living Archive its raison d’être. This exhibition series treats museum archives as a treasury of ideas about the future. The relatively static archives are brought into connection with a dynamic, current external world, in which it serves as an active working memory.

The Living Archive my offer a new perspective on an exhibition in the museum, it may shed more light on the background to an exhibition or acquired work, or it may pass an opinion on the museum’s strategy. Cultural and historical contexts are reconsidered, the little-known history of a work of art is revealed, and the artist’s considerations are scrutinized. Changing views on museum strategy also receive attention.

The Living Archive draws not only on the museum’s own archives but also on those of others. As a vital store of knowledge, these archives provide a foundation for new exhibitions and for new museum activities. The Living Archive is a somewhat unconventional way of accessing documentary sources.

Living Archive consists of :