Out of the Archives- Tim Linfield

A short post about a appropriating archives for contemporary art.

Visually it appears that artists use collage by means of appropriation. However, Tim Linfield used book archives as the raw material. He encourage people to make their own books from old books. Rewriting the language as it were and questioning the typical structure of a book.

The most interesting piece to me however, are the jars of ashes. Ashes of books which were banned. This is such a shocking piece as it is customary to preserve archives and treat them with the utmost care. For example, Titanic artefacts are kept at specific temperatures and light levels to ensure preservation. ‘Linfield says it feels weird, but that he “only burns the books I love.”’ 

It is a different way of appropriating archives for contemporary art. But it does make me wonder though that whether there is more of a metaphor behind how archives are treated- if burnt then they would all take the same shape as ash, so what makes them so special? Are they only worth something in their original form? Do they need to be appropriated differently or destroyed?

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