An Unusable Archive (Chicago)

An Unusable Archive is the most recent installation by collaborative duo N/A (Neeraja D and Ahmed Ozsever). The duo works across continents, Neeraja is based in Bangalore, India, Ahmed in Bloomington, IN and Chicago, IL. Their practice is rooted in conversation and locates subjectivity in linguistic communication, relative to the geographical and physical space one occupies.

An Unusable Archive channels this process through found materials and blurs the distinction between a fictional and an archetypal archive. The artists simultaneously assume the roles of an archivist and interpreter. They compile material and appear to ascertain meaning from remnant documents.

An archetypal archive specifically locates history and functions as a memory. It becomes a system of complex relationships if one is able to locate, understand, and interpret the material as part of a larger framework. Works in An Unusable Archive appear to be whole, complete, and absolute in terms of this vision: to record the evidence. However, in order to be useful, an archive must achieve the status of a catalogue. At the very least, it must be able to function on the principle of some discerning classification. Yet, N/A particularly ask: is it possible to look at found material beyond the randomness of its discovery, and towards its potential as a mutable history?

An archive conjures up notions of objectivity: here is the record, the witness, the evidence of time, motion, action and existence. Yet, it can never escape the limits of its generative impulse: what, why, and whose archive?

An Unusable Archive opens at Parlour and Ramp gallery on March 14th, 6-9pm.