A few remarks on archive and desire (PLATEAU #1)“Harmonise tes détériorations, mais pas au début, pas prématurément et jamais définitivement.” (Henry Michaux)
1. Ambiguity of the archive
Archive images just like any other image in a film, not ‘representing’ some higher level of truth or reality, or necessarily perceived within the framework of an outlying narrative of which they would be a part, for example by verifying events recounted elsewhere.
Narrative is never an evident given of images or the effect of a structure which underlies them: it is a consequence of the visible images themselves, or the perceptible images themselves as they are initially defined for themselves. (TIME-IMAGE)
3. Zone of indefinition
Regarding the archive, maintain a zone of indefinition. Treat the Deleuze lessons as though they are already ‘cinema’, or more precisely rushes of a film that doesn’t exist, rushes in no hurry to become a finished film.
Dilate the space and time of the archive, recompose its affects through effects of decomposition.
Impoverishment of archive material in traditional documentary: ‘I was there’. Avoid the sterile short circuit between present ‘actors’ and past events by releasing the power of the phantoms which separate them.
The archive is a present space of desire, not the response to a desire to know how it was in the past. By projecting our desire into these images we become participants in the same events even though we inhabit different sheets of past.
The condition of the archive dictates the way one works with it. No question of restoration in the traditional sense.
Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson – Paris, presentation @ CJC, June 2008