AMA Artists & Archives

© Philipp Goldbach / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021

© Rozenn Quéré und Caro Bräuer, Aufbewahrungsbox, Zwischenlager Fotografisches Archiv, RJM

© Joan Fontcuberta, 2021

© Anna Orłowska / German Dance Archive

Competition: part of the collection Eau de Cologne counterfaits © Rôsangela Rennó / Stiftung RWWA (file #33-GN238)

All five projects of Artist Meets Archive #2 will ask questions about displaying or NOT displaying images.

The artists' questions relate both to the totality of the image material stored in the archives and to the motifs depicted in each case. These investigations take place within an ethnological, entrepreneurial, but also an entirely poetic background: What remains of a photographically documented dance performance without the body of the dancer in the picture? What longings do images of the planet Mars create in us?

What is the archive made of, what is its outer shell? How do we preserve image information over a period of hundreds of years and what responsibility goes with its preservation? What do the blanks of conventional historiography tell us and what alternative strands have not (yet) been told? What is deliberately shown / deliberately omitted?

The finite nature of storage media, including analogue carriers or digital data formats and programs, lead to a constant migration process of data. In this process, we usually see the archive only as a hermetically sealed corpus, without access to the image material that is hidden inside and preserved there. In the exhibitions, institutional decisions and conservation processes will be examined as much as the archive material and the individual artefacts. Often, the archive itself will become the object of artistic reflection.

A special responsibility comes with images that were taken under unequal power relations without the consent of the persons recorded. This brings up the question how and whether these images should be shown at all.

That is why a lot of artists decide against showing that kind of images in favour of investigating the processes and institutions that preserve them. The projects of second issue of Artist Meets Archive can therefore be seen as an important contribution to the current discourse on dealing with photographic archives.

The "Artist Meets Archive" program will be accompanied by a symposium planned as a hybrid event for 21 and 22 May in cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh) and the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum. More information will follow soon!

German Dance Archive

Siegfried Enkelmann, Die Tänzerin Inge Hönisch, Fotomontage aus den 1950er Jahren, © VG BildKunst


Anna Orlowska

© Chrobot&Filak


German Aerospace Center

Mars-Rover Studie 1995 Quelle: DLR


Joan Fontcuberta

© Damian Zimmermann



© Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum


Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh

From Vies possibles et imaginaires, © by Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh and Rozenn Quéré, 2012.


Rheinisches Bildarchiv Köln

© Rheinisches Bildarchiv Köln


Philipp Goldbach

Philipp Goldbach © Karin Ruëtz


Rheinisch-Westf. Wirtschaftsarchiv

Motiv aus dem RWWA / Eisenbahnbrücke über den Rhein bei Wesel (1928) (Bestand Abt. 130 Gutehoffnungshütte Aktienverein, Oberhausen) © Rheinisch-Westfälische Wirtschaftsarchiv


Rosângela Rennó

© Julia Rennó