Perpetual Monuments: An ‘Other’ Archive
Sumayya Vally and Stephen Hobbs
12R - An African Almanac
The ‘Other’ Archive seeks to find new means of expression for the unheimliche, for suppressed narratives and erased memories through subversive, deconstructive altering techniques; such as syntactic re-ordering, altering the surface structure to alter the deep structure of sentences and layering and stitching together contrasting narratives. Through exploring the absence of ’truths’”, these techniques seek to reveal deleted and edited narratives by generating and inscribing new forms and structures which allow for alternative narrative histories to be read and experienced. It is increasingly evident today that, archives from the era of the book, and of print, are becoming rare and difficult to understand in an era of data banks that support the storage and retrieval of all media equally, once they are converted to and expressed as information. In such an era, the printed page takes on an archaic, poetic and artisanal quality, irrespective of its contents. It is therefore more important to sift these contents beyond their antiquarian charm and recognise that they were, for several centuries – the basis for communicating and legitimising all ideas in the West.
The ‘Other’ Archive is a series of installations and instruments – perpetual monuments which are derived from the ‘altered’ narratives of the old newspaper propaganda. The archive is both a monument to the narratives which were silenced by the press of the previous regime, and a series of evolving monuments – constantly finding new ways of archiving and new material to archive, with current and future archive methodologies.