The Imaginary Archive

  • 29Jan-Archive-Jacob Epstein, Sculptures for the British Medical Association Building, London (1907)

Past Event

This event was on Thursday 29 January, 7pm

With the passage of time, can archive materials, such as sketches and letters, make unrealised projects as tangible as those that really happened?  This question, at the heart of the discussion, is prompted by the current Archive Gallery exhibition Sculptors’ Papers from the Henry Moore Institute Archive. The display includes documentation of artworks that can still be seen in public space, such as Jacob Epstein’s (1880–1959) nude sculptures for the British Medical Association on the Strand, alongside unrealised projects, like Oscar Nemon’s (1906–1985) Temple of Universal Ethics. By presenting similar materials such as correspondence, maquettes and photographs, the archive serves to level the projects, allowing a contemporary audience to build an imagined end result. As time passes, will future generations know the difference between proposed projects and those that were realised?

The conversation includes artist Neal White, whose work from 2004 The Third Campaign is included in the show, artist Paul Becker, whose research interests include fictional histories and Sue Breakell, Archivist and Research Fellow at the University of Brighton Design Archives., who has a particular interest in the theory and practice of archives in visual arts contexts. The panel will be chaired by Nayia Yiakoumaki, Curator Archive Gallery.