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Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo
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The Archive, the Document and Beyond

: May 19, at 20:00 h.
: May 20, 2016 - May 7, 2017
Space: Monument Zone
Curators: Juan Antonio Álvarez Reyes
Exhibition Session: Archive Sickness

· Lara Almarcegui / Ricardo Cardenas / Gonzalo Puch
· María Cañas / Bleda y Rosa
· Juan del Junco / Terry Berkowitz
· Daido Moriyama / Guerrilla Girls
· José Miguel Pereñíguez / Allen Ruppersberg
· Fiona Tan / Alfredo Jaar
· Guillermo Pérez Villalta
· Aleksandra Mir

In 1985 a collection of texts, written by Georges Perec between 1976 and 1982, was published under the title of the book’s final essay: Penser/Classer1. Using that text as a jumpingoff point, the exhibition explores one of the traditional functions of any museum, that of collecting. Perec established three categories for arranging books, a classification system which might apply to any collection: very easy to arrange, not too difficult to arrange, and just about impossible to arrange.

This new partial presentation of the permanent collection of the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo examines one of the collection’s conceptual cornerstones, archival practices, and what lies beyond them. In dialogue with the conceptual underpinnings of the exhibition session Archive Sickness (inspired by Jacques Derrida’s famous essay “Archive Fever”), this show attempts to translate, to a certain extent, the personal experience narrated by Perec when he writes of his own library that the books which “are not arranged in a definitely provisional way are arranged in a provisionally definite way”. In working with a given collection, in the manner of organising temporary exhibitions of its contents, the provisional also becomes something definitive; the possibility of establishing different stories ends up being an experience similar to that narrated by Perec when he says, “[I] may spend three hours looking for a book without finding it but sometimes having the satisfaction of coming upon six or seven others which serve my purpose just as well”.

This exhibition tries to capture and convey the occasional desperation of not being able to find what we are looking for, but also the joy of finding what we did not expect to be there or never thought could suit our purpose so well. The original idea—assembling works from the CAAC Collection that engage in or verge upon archival practices—has gradually undergone a transmutation, not because we failed to find what we sought but because of the overflow generated by unexpected discoveries in the course of those other tasks which have taken us beyond the archive and, by extension, beyond the document as well.


Exhibition Labels [Exhibitions Labels. November 2016]

Exhibition Labels [Exhibitions Labels. May 2016]

Nota de prensa [Press Dossier. PDF File]

Imágenes en alta resolución [High Resolution Images. November 2016]

Imágenes en alta resolución [High Resolution Images. May 2016]

Imágenes en alta resolución [Photo Album on Flickr]



1.- The collection was published in English in 2009 under the title Thoughts of Sorts (translated and with an introduction by David Bellos), and the essay in question was rendered as “Think/Classify” by translator John Sturrock.


Allen Ruppersberg. The New Five Foot Shelf. 2001

Alfredo Jaar. Marx Lounge, 2010

Aleksandra Mir. Plane Landing, collages (composition # 3), 2004


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