Chaos of Memories

Surviving Archives and the Ruins of History
According to the Found Photo Foundation

A reflective essay drawn out of existing artistic practice.
The focus is the Found Photo Foundation, an experimental archive of orphan photography that mobilises vernacular and queer feminist models of the archive to document
(in) visible lives.

The essay uses two moments of situated practice—organised around two particular exhibition projects—
to examine ways in which the theory and practice of
archival art challenge each other through reflective

One is the exhibition “Dear Aby Warburg: What can be done with images? Dealing with Photographic Material” curated by Eva Schmidt at the Siegen Museum for Contemporary Art.
The other is the display “The past persists in the present in the form of a dream (participatory architectures, archive, revolution)” curated by HS Projects for the exhibition Paradigm Store.

These two different curatorial contexts provide a framework to survey the creative processes within the Found Photo Foundation and reflect the diversity of media and archival methodologies deployed in the work with orphan photography, including the use of provisional taxonomies and the foregrounding of participatory tools.


Order and Collapse: The Lives of Archives.
Editors: Gunilla Knape, Louise Wolthers, Niclas Östlind
192 pp., Bi-lingual English and Swedish
Published by: Photography at Valand Academy,
University of Gothenburg/ Hasselblad Foundation
and Art and Theory Publishing, 2016

Order and Collapse Lives of Archives
Conference, University of Gothenburg 2015