Why Space?Why space for an 'archive of exile'?
Because space is where we are
Because space is where we become lost
Because space can be empty, but never absent
Because space is where we meet the other, and where the other shows us our self
Because, like metaphor, space produces links and relations
Because every image is of a space, and in a space
Because the way we dwell in space is part of our humanity
Because space struggles with remembrance, and with forgetting
We can make a space into our home, but we can be cast out into space just as easily. Space comprises the whole expanse of the world, and is at the same time a deeply personal sphere: it is the realm in which we think and which thinks itself in us. Our lives are made up of spaces: we are lost in space and found in space; we set out in space and come home in space. To be at all - to exist in any way - is to be somewhere, even if that 'where' is a site always in question, un-centred, un-bounded. Along with time, space is the means by which we inhabit our world and tell our stories. One can be in place or out of place, but never without space. Indeed, it is the ground in which all objects, thoughts and feelings intermingle and cross over, filled with multiplicities, contacts, wanderings, driftings.
But what of space and the archive? How does the archive even exist if we think of space as a zone of both rest and restlessness? Classically, we think in terms of the space of the archive, and the space beyond the archive. The archive might be seen as a measurable site, a containing structure, a contained practice. It is, perhaps, a locality delimited. Its movement is about an extension: from a present to a past, from the distant to the proximate, from the exterior to the interior. The traditional archive stores thought and provides a location in which history may settle, accumulating dust and memories. But all spaces are linked; space is a medium, not just a stage, and so the archive must always be more than a cloister of objects, images and writings. Thus we must ask: what happens if, like exile, the archive opens onto motion rather than stability? What are its possibilities if it possesses no determinate properties, no positions or forces to order? Can the archive ever be that which dislocates or in which what is remembered has no securing sense of having taken place?
In disrupting the cloistered space of the archive, we come face to face with questions of our own dwelling in space, unsettling the histories we tell to ourselves and others.