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Designing Britain 1945 - 1975 > Student Response Bank > Support Resources > Quotes
 
ARTISTS' TEXTS ON THE ARCHIVE
 
Photographic Garbage Survey Project Joachim Schmid
 
For nearly fifteen years l've been collecting all photographs l'm finding in the street; each photograph becomes part of the ongoing project Pictures from the Street. In the beginning, collecting this garbage was a casual activity, however, it slowly turned into an obsession; the longer l've been doing it and the more photographs l've been finding the more my way of perception changed: now I don't find photographs any more, I look for them - just like a truffle pig. Indeed I think that the nearly 400 photographs I have found so far are a treasure; some of them are extremely fascinating images (mankind would have lost them irretrievably without my intervention) and the entire group forms a unique compendium of photographic garbage, an anti-museum. While museums collect and preserve those images, which according to our society's consensus are important examples of our present culture and should be kept for the future, I'm specializing in those images which are obviously considered so unsuitable and irritating that their makers and owners think they should not have any future at all; these images represent the other half of our culture.
In 1996 I started the Photographic Garbage Survey Project in order to collect and preserve thrown away photographs systematically.
I travel to selected cities all over the world and stay there for some days or weeks, every day I go for an erratic walk through another part of the city in order to collect all abandoned photographs. The result of these inspection tours is a report for each city consisting of the found photographs, a list of discovery sites, maps with the inspected streets marked, and a statistical evaluation; all together these reports form an international compendium of photographic pollution in modern cities.
 
L. Ishi-Kawa From the Foundation Sputnik Joan Fontcuberta
 
But if you tell them "The planet he came from is the asteroid B612", then they'll believe you and they'll let you alone with their questions. They're like that. And you mustn't resent them. Children have to be very patient with grown-ups.
The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
After many years of reliable accounts of human presence in space -a curious name: space- it continues to mingle in the mind with dreams and with something that, for want of static references from which to move, we have called reality.
Some of these dreams are what Ernst Bloch, in The Principle of Hope, called "daydreams". This kind have a anticipatory, projective, and creative nature which clearly differentiates them -Bloch maintains against Freud- from night dreams, about freedom, identity and what the future holds in store for the dreamer who enjoys them.
Undoubtedly, many people have come before us, individuals who, over the years, projected their "daydreams" creating new realities; people who have persisted, evolved, modifying and adjusting their dreams, until they succeeded in persuading and implicating others who could provide them with the necessary material means to set a few human beings adrift from their natural habitat, letting them leave (alive and for a brief spell) their atmosphere, discovering new territories for new daydreams.
There have also been, and still are, people who, ignoring the many lucid, creative dreams that have shaped our positive present, try to monopolise reality, establishing correct modes for it, its official existence. In one way or another, this exhibition is, among other things, a pacific -and somewhat ambiguous- warning against the dangers of the formal establishment of a correct reality.
 
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The Rat Archive Gabriel Scurlock on the discovery of the Rat Archive
 
Bernal Heights, San Francisco, a mostly blue collar neighbourhood with more than it's fair share of no collar. Paved roads were installed for the first time in the mid 1980's. Located at the far south east side of the city, it has always been a sort of fringe neighbourhood. Today the lesbian capital of the bay area. Most with dogs.
The house, probably built in the 1920's, to minimal structural standards, a one story with a basement and an attic. A basement plastered with very old cut-outs of 30's era female starlets. Bedroom, living room, kitchen. The bathroom was an afterthought added probably in the 1970's.
Rat's nest was found behind the stairway leading up to the attic, roughly filling the bottom six inches of a stud bay, (6" by 15"). Parts of the stash had fallen under the stairway and were found bit by bit as the stairs were removed.
The rat's body was there in the nest, lying as it died. Lifting it from the nest it felt like a feather. Most of the fur had fallen off and as the cartilage had dried the bones were folded in, leaving the rat mostly flat.
 
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The Lost Pictures Alexander Honory (Private Institute of Contemporary Family Photography, Cologne, Germany)
 
man, shirt, tie, dark hat, red carnation
Large house, garden, path

two young men, washing machine, laundry, window
Two women, two men, girl, boy, six
Chairs, flowers, vase, wall

young woman, short skirt, fir tree, candles, stool
Small packet, bags, armchair
Young woman, long skirt, white blouse, long necklace
Earrings, red lips, young soldiers, two medals

woman with hair curlers, window
Continental quilt, pillow

old man, fair hair, dark beard, dark suit
pocket watch, chair, window

sideboard, three photos, doily, two vases, cut flowers
wallclock, white wall
woman with fried sausage, man with fried sausage

boy with suit, walkman and candle
boy with suit, flowers and candle
boy with suit, crucifix and candle
boy with suit, wristwatch and candle
boy with suit, book and candle
boy with suit, two candles and potted flower

girl, boy, pig, two hens, skipping-rope
man, tie, white shirt, dark suit, attache case, umbrella
mountain landscape with man and woman

light room, big bed, mirror, two little windows
wall picture

boy, pistol, tree
 
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The Long and Extraordinary Life of Madame Pune Marco Dellacand
 
To find the truth it is sometimes necessary to make generalisations and educated assumptions. The materials that I discovered in the attic at Sunnydale Gardens, in Penge, were rich in quality but limited by quantity. It was impossible initially to see them as anything other than a random collection of ephemera, of the kind often seen at English 'boot sales'. At first I wanted to throw the box out, I was disgusted by its smell and condition, and uncomfortable with the personal nature of the photographs and diaries. The box remained in the hall at the bottom of the ladder, whilst I converted the attic into a darkroom and began to continue a series of nude portraits I had been working on, in Italy, for some years.
Three months had passed before I met any of the neighbours when an old lady, living in the ground floor flat, stopped me at the front door and asked me how I was settling in. When I told her about the box she became very exited and invited me into her flat to tell me about the woman who had occupied the flat before me. Over the next weeks I visited the old lady regularly and she told me about her companion of the past 20 years. The stories were only the stories of a life, but abstracted from the mundane and day-today realities of any life they became something extraordinary.
These stories, and the contents of the box, have been compiled, by me, into 'The Long and Extraordinary Life of Madame Pune'. I hope I have done her life justice, though I know this representation will always be imperfect. Lives are never represented accurately through photographs or second hand stories, but we have no other way to represent the individual experience.
 
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Marco Dellacand Gordon MacDonald
 
Marco Dellacand moved to England in 2000 to study for an advanced certificate in English. On the advice of a friend he moved to Slough to take up his course and rented a small top floor flat in Sunnydale Gardens. The photographs and diary found in the loft by Dellacand and, to some extent, shown in this exhibition, are a description of an extraordinary life and at the same time ordinary life.
This project suggests that any life could be seen as 'extraordinary' when described only by the important events that punctuate it. If this is the truth then we must question if, though based on photographs and written information, the story of Madame Pune can be described as fact. It would be easy also to dismiss them as a fiction made by Dellacand whose strong interest in photography, as an artistic medium, has led him to exaggerate the content of the photographs. However you decide to view this work it is undeniable that the images have a universal quality and describe the only real legacy most of us will leave behind.
 
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