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PAST EVENT

The Archive – An online talk with artist Agata Read

Thursday 21st March 2024


Image: Agata Read, glass plates collection in Hastings Museum


For our March event we were online with a zoom event artist-led talk by Agata Read, titled The Archive.

Agata is a visual artist and researcher living and working in St Leonards on Sea.  She is currently artist in residence at Hastings Museum, cataloguing their collection of photographic glass plates with a bursary from ACE.


The objects for which there is no satisfactory resolution.”


Agata says “This quote from Joan Didion refers to various mementos, “things” left behind by loved ones accumulated over time in boxes and drawers. The personal archives.


Agata's talk questioned this statement by trying to examine the ways we build and sustain archives and ask how we as artists can give a second life to those objects.


For the first part of the talk, Agata looked at different kinds of archives, their narrative power, and art practices that mobilize the model of the archive. This included looking at a facinating range of artists from Duchamp, Mark Dion to Carmen Winant and how they had worked with or made their own archives.



Image: Left to right: Extracts from the work by Carmen Winant, Togethering 2020. Christian Boltanski, The Reserve of the Dead Swiss 1990. Roman Opałka at work on his Infinity series



For the second part of the talk, Agata  shared with us the process and challenges in digitalising the photo collection at the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery. This included her work on digitalising the archive collection of photographer Edward Thomas Connold, who worked in and around St Leonards on Sea, photographing local flora in the early 1900s .




Image: Hastings Muesum & Art Galllery Collection Extract from Edward Thomas Connold's Collection



BMN would like to thank Agata for such a facinating and well researched talk. A recording of the talk is available to hear on our Youtube channel.



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