In Novembre 2020 we visited VOLUMES Archive as an action, where the archive was considered as a stage, full of content waiting to be used. We were exploring the archive as a collection of art works. We re-collected some of them, to produce a compilation of samples of artistic practice that touches the limits in between printed matter, self-publishing, micro politics and action.
“The question of the archive is not, I repeat, a question of the past...but rather a question of the future, the very question of the future, question of a response, of a promise and of a responsibility for tomorrow. The archive: if we want to know what this will have meant, we will only know tomorrow.”
In his study on the power and politics of the archive, Archive Fever, Jacques Derrida outlines the aporetic desire that defines the archive, describing it as an illness that strives to reconcile the will to safeguard significant documents in human history with the wish to share those documents with others. For many academics, researchers, and students, archives used to be and still are contentious ground, guarded tightly by the archivist/gatekeeper whose relationship with the material is very different than that of the researcher. The archivist aims to preserve and protect; the researcher hopes to explore and experience.
Which are the limits between printed matter and action? Which are the relations between self publishing and the book as an art work? Publishing performance is a term we started to use with Dora Garcia for a workshop.
We wanted to indiscipline the production of printed material. It means to underline the act of self publishing as an action itself. And at the same time that this printed material is considered as a tool for an activation. A round trip, to rethink the act of publishing and distributing editions as part of a performance.
Publishing performance, is a research in visual arts, experiencing relationships between printed matter and performance. One changes the perception of the other, before, during or after the action, as part of an hybrid process.
So every book we selected from VOLUMES Archive is related to a specific action: poetics, politics, gestural, individual, collective. As a register but at the same time as a memory activation, and of course, as a body activation.
Every one of these publications are at the same time an archive inside an archive. In that sense these are exhibitions of public content brought together. Each one is also related to a different kind of distribution, another action in itself, which means autonomy. They are associated with different contexts where interdisciplinary practices are the main practice.
We selected those samples to explore the links between publishing and with their cultural and social environment through action. Some of them are focused on this relationship, whether through the lens of fiction or autofiction, the production of critical documents or simply for diversion.
In a world full of images, to pick and activate publications could be seen as an exercise of self-preservation. By these choices, we become less a record of an event. More an active part in that chain of consequences, that we influence and influence us at the same time.
MACACO Press is a collective project, created in March 2015 by two visual artists Sabrina Fernández Casas (b. 1988, CH/ES) and Patricio Gil Flood (b. 1977, AR/CH), that crosses disciplines by exploring the relation between self-publishing and performance. We conceived this project as a material which is not something fixed, but which is in constant evolution and changing, difficult to define as only one single thing :
MACACO are illegal workers
MACACO are foreigners
MACACO is performance
MACACO is printed matter
MACACO is a dog dealer
MACACO is another artist
MACACO are flags
MACACO is about exchange
MACACO is infiltration
MACACO is a seflie
MACACO is multiple
MACACO is an association
MACACO are teachers
MACACO is a political statement
MACACO is a deviant practice
MACACO is a joke
MACACO is a social project
MACACO is art
MACACO is something else...
MACACO is a vindication of a multiple and mobile way to create, in a social context limited by economic forces.