Recovering the Social Imaginary

ART, ARCHIVES AND THE KNOWLEDGE COMMONS

Ownership is a central concern for a contemporary archival practice. After all creativity is never solely the product of a single author, it always owes debts to the inspiration and work of others, whether they are writers, artists, teachers, lovers or friends. Art practice as a fusion point of these singularities cannot survive in a social nothingness. All ideas depend upon the social life, and it is the values that we associate with public life that ensure their longevity, relevance or extinction. During her year-long residency at the Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong, Marysia Lewandowska’s efforts have centered around exploring the notion of the public realm both as conceptual construct as well as through investigating historical and contemporary complications in building vibrant public institutions in Asia; Institutions committed to establishing a critical forum open to debate while encouraging a wider participation in creating cultural values beyond spectacle of consumption. Her interest continues in identifying alternatives in the production of art culture appreciating differences connected to specific local conditions.She proposes the museum to be seen as a contemporary production site with the archive as its engine. The force of the archive moves in the direction of the past, of what has been stored and captured, and she insists on looking towards its future as a place of recovery, of potentiality, of the social imaginary.