The Body and the Archive

“Body and the Archive'' takes its title from a 1986 essay by Allan Sekula about the way photography has been used as an agent of social categorization and control. In order to present his argument that there is a close connection between the archival paradigm and the operations of power that regulate “the deviant body” (and consequently, “the social body”), Sekula places the emergence of photography in the context of the development of police acts and technologies of surveillance; He goes back to the mid 19th century, to study the development of photography (Daguerre’s daguerreotype dating from 1839) to discuss the paradoxical status of photography, both as the promise of honorific portraiture made available to the lower classes but also as a tool capable of identifying them to the police.

Photographic documentation plays a central role, however collection of casts and actual bone of human and animals of every kind have been collected and stored in museums worldwide for hundreds of years. The use and purpose of these, to record migration, study biological origins, create hierarchical categories and racial discrimination is hard to deny or for us to overcome.

After reading Sekula’s essays and having studied and drawn the human body extensively, cast or model a set of bones and or body parts in relief to be cast in glass.

Your choice of bone or body part is significant to how we will read this form.  The work will be show collectively so to make a kind of archeological museum.

Fall 2016

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