Nostalgia, materiality and the photographic archive
Notions of nostalgia, materiality and the photographic archive is going to be explored further in this research paper. Dwelling on the artistic responses and interpretations of the archive and its traditions. It is going tobe done in relation to the Wunderkammer tradition, also known as the cabinets of curiosities which expands the notion of the archive further into the realm of the museum collection. This research paper is based on the studying of the museological influences of the presentation strategies and the archival aesthetics of it. Focusing on the contemporary artists practices that involves the works of Christian Boltanski, Sophie Calle and Ilya Kobakov. And is looked at through the prisms of the archive as a primal source of the material and inspiration for the artistic practice, the active act or a performance of the archiving and the appropriation of the institutional and personal archive.
In recent photography landscape one of the most discussed debates is around the growing interest of the photographic object. Emphasising its material and tactile qualities and the often nostalgic effect that it has. In the opposition to the photographic image, which traditionally is the main focus in critical photography writing. In addition to that, the growing desire for the archive as the means by which historical knowledge and forms of remembrance are accumulated, stored and recovered. It is being created by institutions as well as individuals as a form of collection. It often becomes the foundation for history to be written and reappropriated. (Merewether 2006:132) This could be seen as a natural reaction to the change in photography making and consumption. In digitalised world people seem to focus on the screen based visual arts and therefore, feel nostalgia for materiality. The idea that while photographs are images, they are also material artefacts, it comes from the ‘objectness’ of the photographic item. Which is integral to their meaning and use. (Edwards and Hart, 2005:13) Especially in photography sphere because of its indexical nature of the medium itself. In addition to the photographic objects, there seem to be the nostalgic tendency dating back to 16th century for collecting items as well. ‘Art and artifacts, specimens and instruments are jumbled together’ (Jardine, 2003) in order to preserve and to discover. Such collections put together in drawers and specially dedicated rooms are often referred to as cabinets of curiosities also known as Wunderkammer. It began as a way for travellers to preserve the extraordinary objects brought from their journeys. ‘They did not stuck its treasures away in the dusty attic, these strange items were intended for display.’ (Das, 2015). Thus the way one displayed their collection depended on the story one wanted to tell. It was seen as the reflection of not only the world but most importantly, of the identity of the collector itself. By putting artifacts and pieces of art together into shelves, cupboards or even rooms dedicated for the display of the collection the collector revealed about its own interests and passions. It reinforced that ‘The element of discovery is central to the idea of the cabinet.’ Since it contains various different exhibits collected over time from far away places, for people it reawakened curiosity and was ‘a way of exploring the world in miniature.’ (Jardine, 2003). Through visiting and studying Cabinets of curiosities people had an opportunity to learn, broaden their horizons and dwell deeper into other cultures through visual examples of it. Thus, with this research paper I aim to explore the notions of nostalgia and materiality through the ‘photographic archive -that supremely static container of still images as a curiously dynamic’ (Vestburg, 2008:54) in relation to the cabinet of curiosities. By the means as a source of inspiration and primal material in many creators contemporary practices. The intimate connection between Photography, archive and memory are explored in Christian Boltanski’s, Sophie Calle’s and ilya Kobakov’s practices.
The photographer expresses his goal for creating ‘Research and Representation of All that remains of my childhood 1944-1950’ in a flyover of his artist's book as ‘preserving oneself whole, keeping a trace of all the moments of our lives, all the objects that have surrounded us, everything we’ve said and what’s been said around us’ (Boltanski, 1969). Contrary to the tradition of the collections known as cabinet of curiosities or wonders, Boltanski's’ collection is of personal significance. Instead of collecting items to capture the magical and the wonderful things of the world, the artist gathers personal ephemera. He creates the personal mythology through collecting and archiving his own personal life fragments as an attempt to preserve it and keep trace of his life, as the artist himself explains. Hence, providing the audience with body of work that even though is personal to the author, it can be found relatable on many emotional, historical, cultural layers to the viewer. Which leads the audience to face the external experience that has been internalized. (Stewart, 1993:98). Its is done through appropriating elements of his personal history- factual and fiction. In relation of the postmemory archive, merging personal and collective histories, commonly associated with a traditional archive. In Boltanski’s project mnemonic documents and artifacts which concludes the archive serves as the primary media form to represent the task of memorializing the time that's passed through material remembrance of his own childhood. (Altomonte, 2009:5) The artist states that almost everything from the time period that the body of work deals with has been lost and ‘it was only with infinite difficulty that [the artist] was able to find few elements’ (Boltanski, 1969) that was presented. It included artefacts from his childhood such as: photographs, booklets, pieces of fabric, handwritten texts on paper and strands of hair. It all has been collected and used in producing this shrine-like vitrine installation that is recognizable in authors aesthetic. As a way to represent Boltanski’s often discussed subject matter of human mortality and materiality through the archival tradition. Furthermore, it emphasises the sadness without an object, a sadness that creates a longing that of necessity does not take part in lived experience’ (Stewart, 1993:101). Because of this, it is clear that the project is based on the desire to resist inevitability of death by dealing with the very beginning of one’s life- his own childhood.This is proposed by the artist itself in one of his interviews where he states that '[the artist] has no longer have any childhood memories. [he] have erased them by inventing so many false memories.' (Boltanski, 1997) In addition to that, to declare the idea of recollecting and preserving the remains of one’s life which is precious and irreplaceable.
Dwelling more on how does the artist create a narrative using images and objects together- creating installations, it becomes irrelevent when the images used are personal or from the collective archive. As it can be seen in ‘The Reserve of Dead Swiss’ (1990), installation made of photographs, light bulbs and wooden carcass. It implies the tragedy of the people that have died by displaying their portraits in a shrine-like manner. However, it raises the question of the authenticity of such memorial. Therefore, even the visual language that the remains exhibited in a museum-like vitrine employ, communicate with the audience about self-portraiture and raises questions through their use of fact and fiction. As well as creating personal mythology through the use of photographs and other material that cannot be distinguished as absolutely real, original, truthful or on the other hand- fabricated and and based on fiction and imagination. This juxtaposition of the two end of the spectrum of fact and fiction conveys a feeling of nostalgia and curiosity. It makes the audience feel emotion that is dictated by the archival set up of the material objects, regardless of the actual history of the artifacts. Through that it makes it possible for the fabricated ‘memory’ to be deposited and to be ‘reproduced’ at any time with knowing that it will remain unaltered (Freud, 1925:61) in spectators mind. However, together with a collection of objects and photographs there is very little explanation of what the elements are or why they are there. Regardless if the images original meaning is depicted truthfully the audience still interprets such portraits instinctively as the true remains of one’s past which is artists goal- to evoke the feelings of nostalgia and ‘make people cry’. (Lubbock, 1994). Hence, the aesthetic choices and representation strategy in Boltanski's’ practice can be seen as based on the emotional response from the viewer and not the logical level of understanding.
For the artist the fascination for monuments of past lives had continued through Boltanski’s career. Which becomes evident from the early works of the ‘Reference Vitrine’ projects that were undertaken from 1969 till 1972. The Artist is paying a lot of attention to the every little mundane object and collects ephemera of personal significance continuously. What makes all of the artifacts from the collection significant and helps the viewer to make sense of it, is when the collection or the archive is viewed together. For it is creating a narrative based solely on the visual aspect and connotation that is has, as opposite of having the text explanation of the concept. A narrative that may not necessarily be true or factual to the implied meaning, which is achieved by employing the archive visual language. It makes it evident of what has already passed in one’s life as an attempt to preserve it, to ‘prevent forgetfulness’ and to ultimately, freeze the time. This concept of preservation carries through vast majority of Boltanski’s bodies of work, suggesting that the author has a real interest in such subject matter of mortality, nostalgia for the past and for anything that is reminiscent of this.
Boltanski also had expressed the idea to base photo projects on is his interest in what he calls a ‘small memory’. (Boltanski, 1997) Which can be explained as using found or collected from personal archive objects and also, to addition to this- archival images. Using these materials for the content for his projects, he creates monuments for past lives and his own lost childhood. His interests emerge from his own personal mythology and history and expands further out of the brackets of his biographical approach. Adopting a newer approach which is creating archival collections to people that he has never even met. The concept of preserving and recollecting fragile moments and ‘The little things, trivia, jokes’ is key to his practice. This nostalgic approach shows that As much as Boltanski’s work is about memory, it is also entirely about death, the death of others and of ourselves. It can become clear of it from the apprehension of how ‘photographs manifest a passage analogous to mortality itself- the passage from living body to memory fragment, in which the image sustains or ‘outlives’ the existence of its subject’.(Basualdo, 2000:23) Hence, in order to keep the memory of absence Boltanski is creating inventors which are unique shrines of mixed documents, physical objects and printed or projected photographs. The author arranges them in wooden boxes under plexiglass, based on the museum representation tradition. Which emerged from the fashion of the way that cabinet of curiosities used to be arranged in. This tradition in collecting and arranging objects carries through the history of art and science with great success to this today. Inspiring artists, scientists and ordinary people to explore the past with a curious approach. By doing so influenced contemporary artists’ practices as well. They can be recognised using similar strategies of with very little commentary or narrative about their origins and the human being they belonged to- allowing theobject to be a legitimate independent in existence without any explanation being necessary. Thant way the inventor works as an archive of an absent person’s life. A collection of their memories and objects, Even tho you can never know the true meaning and story behind it. Which is the fascinating element behind the work- ‘they teach us nothing about that person, but mark out the absence that makes them desperately useless’. (Boltanski, 1997) However, by doing that the author is creating a fabricated memory by producing the inventor and choosing the images and objects as the exact duplication of the real. It can be added also that it is done ‘Preferably by means of another reproductive medium advertisement, photography... and in the shift from medium to medium, the real vanishes and becomes allegory of death. But even in its moment of destruction it exposes and affirms itself; it will become the quintessential real and it becomes the fetishism of the lost object.’ (Baudrillard, 1976:18) The lost object is being interpreted as the real, the authentic by ‘showcasing the visible traces of repeated usage carried out on the back of a print which had previously belonged to the photographic archive’ (Vestberg, 2008:74). In this case, to secure the authenticity- especially of an archives, it is extremely important to point out the evidence of print holders ‘authenticity’. Which was discussed by Walter Benjamin by testifying not only the ‘substantive duration’ of the photographic object but also the ‘history which it has experienced’ (Benjamin, 1935:3) and involves the backside of the photographic print is as important as the front of it with the actual image. Since ‘material traces strengthens photographs as documents that are always already inscribed in a powerful narrative of loss and absence.’(Vestberg, 2008:75) Indexicality has the direct ‘physical connection’ to the referent and brings out about the relationship between photography and object.
In conclusion, the materiality plays a significant role in Boltanski's practice through many of his projects that due to their indexical signs it encourages the audience to believe its truthfulness. The material objects don't have a lot explanation thus the spectator project their personal meaning to it blurring the lines of the fact and the fiction within his work and representation of his own childhood. Creating imaginary narratives becomes essential part of the understanding and appreciating authors projects. It is also clear that the motivation behind this project is the feeling of nostalgia. Nostalgia of what has been and now will never come back because it is gone as well as the nostalgia as desire, as longing on something. (Stewart, 1993:62) Key to understand the authors motifs truly it's crucial to take into consideration his own quotes on his practice in general ‘What drives me as an artist is that we are all so unique, yet we disappear so quickly’. the inevitable death feels extremely present as memento mori is exquisitely portrayed in his practice. It is conveyed through the archival language and the traditional wunderkammer aesthetic as well as the material connotations and indexicality of the artefacts in the project.
Sophie Calle’s body of work ‘The Birthday Ceremony’ (1998) brings together an exhibition of a total of fifteen cabinets in the fashion of the medical cabinets. This design suggest a certain way to read into the items under the glass- it speaks of the museum language. Thus it highlights ‘The primacy of visuality in the control of the social body’. The artist is utilising ‘photography and the archive in tandem served to support positivist governmental and professional discourses that increasingly came to dominate and underpin society’ (Cross and Peck, 2010:129). In the display thirteen individual cabinets and one pair were described as: ‘each containing the gifts that was gathered in one year since 1980 until 1993. They are displayed unwrapped and range from the banal to the bizarre. They include works of art, hand made tokens of affection, books and letters, junk and antiques, plastic trivia, items stolen from a restaurant, bottles of wine, chocolates.’ (Morris, 1998). Exhibited under the glass in those cabinets, the items become objects of desire and longing. This aesthetic reminds about the idea of the Wunderkammer and it brings out the mixed feelings of curiosity and frustration to the viewer. Who because of the presentation strategy cannot have the tactile experience with these objects. That might be frustrating, even more so since the personal mythology collections are often distinguished as being ‘remarkable accumulations of objects [which] also show another unmistakeable characteristic: a taste for particular substances, colours and textures- a heightened awareness of tactile qualities.’ (Mauries, 2002: 251) That is impossible for the audience to hold, taste, smell, unwrap it. Which brings the tradition of cabinet of curiosities close to the project by Calle. They both speak about the experience of spending time with the objects, of ‘taking pleasure in small things and enjoying the stories they told.’ (Das, 2015). Although, that creates the distance between the viewer and the meaning of the artefact. It brings about the concern that ‘every image of the past that is not recognised by the present as one of its own threatens to disappear irretrievably.’ (Benjamin, 1940:43). However, the author gives out some more information about the items displayed by attaching a list of items on the glass in front of each cabinet. By the process of ‘description, commentary and narrative’ that the author provides, it ‘simultaneously prolongs the life of the object’ (Mauries, 2002). As much as it also explains some of the mystery of these objects it does not reveal everything since it is unknown who or why gave those things to the artist. Although, some artefacts are more obvious than others in their meaning and they ‘serve as tangible evidence to substantiate her past’ (Putman, 2001:257). This autobiographical aspect of the artist’s museum can be interpreted as an attempt to preserve oneself. To prevent someone from being inevitability forgotten as a way to fight against human mortality, the natural flow of time and memory.
Another body of work by Sophie Calle that explores the notion of the archive and nostalgia through material objects and their depiction in photography is ‘The Hotel’ series (1981). Where the artist used her then job position as a maid in a hotel to gain access into guests rooms when they were away or checked out. She very much took a role of a detective there and captured everything she could find in the room. Over the period of a year she was able to inspect 12 rooms. Each of the twelve rooms were documented in the same manner with a combination of text describing the room as well the diptych of pictures to accompany the text. This coherent structure follows through the whole project. Some rooms feature more than once as different people occupied them one after another, giving rise to a total of twenty-one diptychs in the series. The author describes the hotel rooms and their contents with a combination of factual documentation along with her personal and often emotional response to the people whose lives she inspects by examining their belongings and spaces they lived in. ‘Each text begins with the artist’s first entry into the room and a notation of which bed or beds have been slept in, with a description of the nightwear the guests have left. A list of objects usually follows, as the artist transcribes her activities in the room.’ (Manchester, 2005) It is evident, that the artist is engaging in voyeuristic activities: reading diaries, letters, postcards and notes written or kept by the unknown guests, checking their suitcases, and looking into wardrobes and drawers. She also sprays herself with their perfume and cologne, makes herself up using the contents of a vanity case, eats food left behind. Through doing that she is trying to understand the people and most importantly to capture their lives. Which sets this particular project apart from the ones discussed above because of its voyeuristic nature. Since the artist took an active part into the research and documentation of the rooms this makes the project a performance act too. Calle, when entering the rooms performed an act not only of documenting and taking pictures of things and interiors but also putting herself into the shoes of the hotel guests. She did that by trying on their clothes, reading through their letters, spraying herself with their perfume. Through that act the boundaries between the private and the public were blurred and reinterpreted. This merging of chance and order, randomness and ritual (O’Hagan, 2017) is signature for Calle’s projects. It also suggest that maybe she was searching for a way to become part of a community of people. Even if it meant the she is doing it incognito without the other people even knowing this. Most importantly, it gave her the chance to investigate, to discover. This brings this act of discovery in comparison to cabinets of curiosities close together. Although, in this instance the author is experiencing the discovering lead by curiosity- she sees guests rooms as a cabinet of curiosity. But Instead of creating one like she does in ‘Birthday ceremony’, Calle actually depicts ‘someones elses’ Wunderkammer that was created by them just by living ordinary life in a hotel room. In this body of work, it can be said that ‘Photography in partnership with the archive delineated the boundaries of what Benedict Anderson in relation to printing has termed an “imagined community” through which a narrative of the nation and the self were installed’ (Cross and Peck, 2010:132) Even though the artist does not personally know the guests -they are anonymous and not related in her eyes, she still has the urge to depict and capture their essence and presence in the hotel rooms that she finds endlessly fascinating. It is done by paying attention to the material qualities of the objects found by photographing as well as describing them in the text. Through presenting the images and the text as an archive it suggest that it can be interpreted with a museum like approach to the contents.
Ilya Kobakov’s ’Labyrinth (My Mother's Album)’ (1990) is a large-scale installation piece. Periodically situated along the walls are seventy-six assembled collages of printed images and text. Each panel has an identical dark frame and the same composition: one or two photographs in the top left hand corner, typewritten texts on white paper below and to the right. Immediately below each text is a thin vertical strip cut from a postcard. All the elements are glued on old-fashioned pink patterned wallpaper. (Taylor, 2004:98) The text in the panels, written in author's mother tongue language- Russian, recounts the memoirs of Kabakov’s mother Bertha Solodukhina. The story told through images and the text has a material form and therefore has a quality that enables them to be understood just like the photograph is seen as a death-mask, a direct depiction of reality (Tagg, 1988:132).
Thus, when it tells a story of his mother's tragic life it is seen as truth, as an archive of the past. Where memories mingle in the text, revealing more and more about the life of the mother. The space that the frames are exhibited in resembles a corridor and the visual experience for the audience is coordinated by the layout of the corridor and the labyrinth it creates.This principle of incorporating the space to be specific to the archive-based project can be traced back to the Wunderkammer traditions: ‘the aesthetic of the cabinet of curiosities has impinged... interiors’ (Jandire, 2003) and it becomes clear in Kabakovs project. Through walking and looking one also gets the opportunity to dwell deeper into the nostalgia and desire to learn more about the story and the person being portrayed. It becomes clear that the mother is deceased by the time the project is created. Thus, looking at the artefacts left behind her brings about the idea of ‘Memento mori: ‘photographs too, like the museum, have deathly associations ‘ (Stylianou and Lamber, 2017:12).
The active role for the artist in this body of work was more of a collector or curator rather than creator. Through curating new meaning are emerging. This invites the audience to question the authenticity of the artefacts presented and the truthfulness of the story told. Just like in the ‘Labyrinth’(1990), Ilya Kobakov’s ‘The man who never threw anything away’ (from ‘Ten Characters’, 1985- 1988) is yet another installation piece based around the idea of the archive. The fictional protagonist is allegedly collecting and obsessively inventorying and labelling the rubbish that he finds significant. Lead by nostalgic longing the character is not able to let go of the material artefacts and has the urge to document and collect things in order to preserve oneself. By making the archive of the everyday artefacts and images with little value it creates a large volume of items put together in a studio like environment. The materiality of the items comes forth as every single little item is given significance by labelling and inventorying it. Memory is not being trusted to recall every mundane detail, and that is where assiduously collecting the remains, testimonies, documents, images, speeches and any visible and tangible signs that have been left behind (Nora, 1989:23) becomes focal. The studio like space is arranged in such a fashion that one cannot overlook the resemblance it has to the traditional arrangement of the cabinets of curiosities. It ‘draws viewers into a world of the imagination, to invite them into narratives involving role-play and projection.’ (Mauries, 2002:176). That is how the artist is employing the presentation modes from the traditional Wunderkammer method. Through doing that Kobakov in this project is addressing the issues of materiality, the archive, fact and fiction and nostalgia. All of these topics remind the audience about memento mori as well.
The author’s motif can be understood as “archival ambition and procedure [that] are intrinsic to photographic practice” (Sekula, 1989:11) for raising the awareness of the history of an ordinary person. It extends the history of photography beyond the art-historical paradigm. Through doing that it address the absence or reflection on the social uses of photography because of the representations of ordinary lives limited by its political structures. Especially of the group of people that Kobakov’s family belonged to back in Soviet Russia where everything was institutionalised and documented. Hence the author focus is on the historical and social exclusion of the working class. (Sekula, 2003:13) It can be interpreted that the archive as an institutional body fail to usually presented the history of this group, including his mother. What is more, the archival perspective is not a working-class one. Therefore, the ‘Labyrinth’ (1990) can be seen as not only as a memorial to an ordinary person (artist’s mother) of personal significance, but also as a more vast attempt to share the history of ordinary people that seemed to be excluded from the photographic archive. This makes this body of work be considered as an examination of the role of photography in social institutional settings as well as private settings. Because of use of writings, objects and images images produced or collected from the ordinary and everyday circumstances it enable the artist to escalate this excluded person that represents the whole group of people into the discussion in the contemporary photography landscape. Where snapshots and other amateur images frequently appears. These mundane snapshots, for example, seem to bring something new in the ways photography and the archive is being critically analysed. Thus photography and its archives is responsible to provide the grounds for a well- rounded reconfiguration of knowledge, its ownership and modes of production. (Cross and Peck:130)
Having said this, it becomes clear that the main point of photography and its archives are structured by remembrance and forgetting. In which certain futures of people are shared and others excluded. The archive can also become open to new strategies of memory where the aim is to “prevent the cancellation of testimony” (Sekula, 1989:64). Thus, limiting the history shared of the excluded social groups of people. especially the working class and It is clear that the artist does not agree to this exclusion. He is protesting through reassembling the past as it was as a way to ‘seize hold of a memory’ (Benjamin, 1969:7). These ordinary people’s lives and histories captured in ephemera, writings and photographs are gathered in personal archives and demand recognition within the institutionalised archives where a range of possibilities exist. As the archival forms of personal history, it offers a way of testifying to the voices previously marginalized in history and have become important archives of cultural knowledge (Williamson, 1984:19).
In conclusion, many artists are exploring the notions of the materiality, nostalgia and the archive through their practices. It is clear that it is a universal human urge to preserve oneself, to prevent forgetfulness. Artist especially by ‘nature are collectors of both forms and images’ (Putman, 2001:26) The trend within the art realm to exhibit personal collections started in late 1960s but the artists still continue to present their trivial and worthless items as an entity or the ‘museum’. Corresponding to the tradition of the cabinets of curiosities, artist employ same methods of collecting, preserving, arranging and resenting. It usually involves both images and artifacts and it emphasises the indexicality of such personal archives that are seen as personal mythologies or personal museums.
This was discussed first analysing Christian Boltanski’s personal autobiographical photographic projects such as artists book ‘Research and Representation of All that remains of my childhood 1944-1950’ (1969), ‘Reference Vitrine’ a continuous investigation of his own past life through creating vitrines with artefacts from the past (1969-1972) and ‘The Reserve of Dead Swiss’ (1990). Looking at his practice through the process of nostalgic narrative reconstruction which denies the present and lets the ‘past take on an authenticity of being’. (Stewart, 1993:52) Secondly, looking at the practice of Sophie Calle and her body of work ‘The birthday ceremony’(1998) where she exhibits artifacts from her birthday celebrations. Items gathered together over the years, the gifts she has received including not only photographs but other items as well; also, a series ‘The Hotel’ (1981) where the artist is creating an archive of the hotel rooms and the belongings of its inhabitants. The third case study is Ilya Kobakov’s ’Labyrinth (My Mother's Album)’ (1990) which is an installation piece based on the archive of the authors mother’s life. And archive-based project ‘The man who never threw anything away’ (from ‘Ten Characters’, 1985- 1988). Where the outcomes vary from fictional to autobiographical yet the distinction between the two are often unclear due to the personal nature of the projects.
All of these three artists bodies of work are based on the notions of nostalgia, materiality, mortality, the archive and correspond in different ways to the idea and aesthetic of the cabinet of curiosities. In these cases the artists’ memory is key to unpicking the possible meanings. Which emphasises that ‘Memory and photography both involve the process of recording images that may be used to recall the past. Memory itself is often characterized as an archive: a storehouse of things, meanings and images.’ (Cross and Peck, 2010:130) The archive does not only provide the opportunity to access and explore personal and collective memory, history, cultural changes but also its ability to bound time and space together. This also brings out the ‘generalized desire for origin, for nature, and for unmediated experience that is at work in nostalgic longing’ (Stewart, 1993:52) and connects this experience to the memory.
Modern memory is “archival”: “It relies entirely on the materiality of the trace, the immediacy of the recording, the visibility of the image” (Nora, 1989:7) Hence, the “Sites of memory” are commonly the symbolic objects of memory which include things such as monuments, museums and archives of celebration of the mundane. In which memory becomes embodied. It manifests in the ‘Labyrinth’ (1990) clearly. Thus, the archive is opened to the threat of memory: the memory of its exclusions, the author is creating the monument. Preventing forgetfulness through engaging in the material relations of memory and the materiality of the photographic archive and its notion of nostalgia that is very closely embedded in the tactile experience of the discovery of the archive.
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