Object: Installation / Materials: various / Year: 2021
For Module 3 – Section B, Paul Kirps addresses the contemporary function of the archive by installing three panel trolleys in the Annexe 22 Pavillon in Esch-sur-Alzette (L), while questioning at the same time the role and situation of the stored artworks. How are the objects kept when they are not being shown or circulated? Does the artwork in storage lose its value? Significantly, it is in the present time, a time of waiting, preparation, uncertainty as to how and when a long-awaited recovery will take place, that the artist thematises the importance of archiving and storage. An installation in waiting, which does not know the fate of the artworks presented in the exhibition. It illustrates how, for Paul Kirps, an archive collection becomes a selection for artistic production.
Researching, collecting, editing, and archiving are key elements of Paul Kirps’s work. Archiving in particular is an important step in the artist’s creative process. However, this does not take place at the end of the project or exhibition, as could be expected, but already at a much earlier stage. In fact, the artist’s studio is a giant archive, contained either in his digital atlas in the clouds, or more traditionally, in boxes. The practice of archiving helps the artist to structure his creative work. Moreover, it places Paul Kirps’s work within the contemporary discourse on the positioning and role of archives in the 21st century. The will to preserve, to keep traces, to safeguard and protect cultural heritage has existed ever since libraries were created. Today’s archives have expanded to the virtual space and have thus become, so to speak, omnipresent.
Photos: © Patty Neu