Forms of formless knowledge
“Women’s Audio Archive”. Marysia Lewandowska
The Women’s Audio Archive began as a series of recordings after leaving her home country in 1984. These recordings document public events, seminars, talks, conferences, and private conversations as valuable records of a particular time in discourse, beginning around 1983 until 1990.
Lewandowska denotes this period of time as one dominated by academics and artists close to October magazine and by feminist gatherings, including the participating of Judy Chicago, Mary Kelly, Barbara Kruger, Yvonne Rainer, Jo Spences, Nancy Spero, Jane Weinstock, etc. In a variety of settings and institutions, as well as in private, the recordings also document talks by artists and academics such as Benjamin Bucloh, Victor Burgin, John Cage, Allan Kaprow, Tom Lawson, Les Levine, Peter Wollen, etc.
The act of sound recording began as a way to address the posibilitéis within a new, unfamiliar environment through observation in gathering knowledge and participation in developing relationships. The artist maintains a sensitivity to the power of representation, to the original and manipulation of images, thereby influencing her perception of how history is constructed, who keeps the documents, and who has access to public broadcast.
In establishing the Women’s Audio Archive, Lewandowska seeks to create a collection and a site that would act as a meeting point where the recording conversations would participate in developing a history of women in the media-visual tradition.
Marysia Lewandowska is a polish born artist based in London who has explored the public function of archives, collections and exhibitions in an age characterized by relentless privatization. She has been collaborating with Neil Cummings between 1995 and 2008. Research has played a central part in all their projects which include The Value of Things, Give & Take, Capital inaugurating Contemporary Interventions series at Tate Modern and Enthusiasm. Other projects are: Screen Tests, Social Cinema, Generosity Broadcasting House, Post-production, Museum Futures: Distributed y Tender Museum.
At present, she is working about legitimacy of conversation as a site of the unacknowledged knowledge in Women’s Audio Archive, Our Radical Parents and Casting.
She is a Professor of Fine Art at Konstfack in Stockholm where she established Timeline: Artists’ Film and Video Archive.
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Montehermoso Cultural Centre is taking part in the co-production of this archive project, and in the digitalisation of parto f its contents, for its presentation at the Centre in 2011.