The exhibition The Art of the Archive is built on the reoccurring and popular theme of photographic and video archives and is divided into three parts: uses of the archive, representation of the archive and aesthetics of the archive.
The works of the "archival artists" (Hal Foster) gathered for this occasion combine two temporalities, the past and present, through reinterpretation and creative experience. The projects cover topics as diverse as the concepts of genealogy and family experiences, the evocation of childhood, the political history of the United States and the architectural standards of archival repositories. The appropriation of old objects and images, the representation of spaces devoted to these objects, or the playing with visual forms specific to the archive seem to respond to what Jacques Derrida called the "archive fever," an irrepressible desire to create a collective memory.
The works in this exhibition come from current students and recent alumni from the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University.
This exhibition is curated by Dr Gaëlle Morel, Curator at the Ryerson Image Centre. Morel received her PhD in the history of contemporary art from Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, and she is a member of the editorial committee of the bilingual refereed journal Études photographiques. Morel was the guest curator of the Mois de la Photo in Montreal in 2009 and she has written essays that have appeared in a number of books and catalogues.