THE ARCHIVAL REFLEX

MELBOURNE's LIVING MUSEUM OF THE WEST
NOVEMBER 2017

CURATED BY MATTHEW DAVIS and SUSAN LONG

The Archival Reflex features a selection of Melbourne based artists whose practice employs a mode of archival logic. Common to each of these artists is that in their negotiation of the images and other documents of private and public histories, they simultaneously draw upon existing archives and actively produce new ones.

Taking as a point of departure the concept of the archive as a static repository of artefacts removed from, yet related to the present, Hazewinkel’s project for The Archival Reflex reflects this conceptual framework onto the monument - or memorial.

Working in response to information gathered from the Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation's archive, Hazewinkel’s project reconsiders Gonzalez-Torres’ 1990 work “Untitled” (Natural History) in the light of current private and public, individual and collective, sociopolitical events.

Tracing the development of the work from its first iteration as a series of eleven photographs, "Untitled" (I Think I Know Who You Are), created for the 1990 New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), MIT Press publication OUT THERE: Marginalization and Contemporary Cultures, through to its better known resolution “Untitled” (Natural History); Hazewinkel uncovers and invents associations between the inscriptions carved in stone at the Theodore Roosevelt memorial at the American Museum of Natural History in New York , which were used by Gonzalez-Torres as a structure of critique for his social thinking of the late 1980’s and 90’s , and the social politics of today.

Drawing from newspapers and other forms of contemporary media, as Gonzalez-Torres did, Hazewinkel is creating a series of thirteen two sided photographic works that bring together the twelve monumental inscriptions RANCHMAN, SCHOLAR, EXPLORER, SCIENTIST, CONSERVATIONIST, NATURALIST, STATESMAN, AUTHOR, HISTORIAN, HUMANITARIAN, SOLDIER and PATRIOT with other photographs, drawings, words and patterns that reference in both direct and oblique ways current global sociopolitical trends and call to question the historical archetypes above carved in stone.

 

“ History is the object of a construction whose place is not homogeneous, empty time, but time filled by the ‘now.’”

Walter Benjamin

Theses on the Philosophy of History.