It’s not for reading. It’s for making
A reflection on collecting and archiving with interventions by Luca Frei, Edgar Schmitz, Charlotte Moth, Guestroom, Raymond Taudin Chabot, Matteo Terzaghi & Marco Zürcher
12 February—5 April 2009
Collecting, archiving and categorising. Collecting collections, categorising archives and organising methods of gatherings. Ordering photographs, scans and drawings, reproducing lithographs. Creating indexes and arranging lists, following idiosyncrasies. One and infinite. Black & white and colour, old and new, far and close, cheaply produced and elegantly manufactured. How could the inherent madness of collecting be tackled? How does it differ from archiving and how is it linked to subjective categorisation methods?
The consciousness of the impossibility to exhaustively fulfil such research has become the trigger for the two month open project “It’s not for reading. It’s for making.”
FormContent has chosen to focus just on printed matter by identifying in it a possible and far reaching entry point on the concepts of collections and archives. The title of the project comes from a passage in one of the chapters of Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveler, a novel constructed as the collection of the same story being constantly rewritten.
FormContent asked over 30 contributors to suggest up to five book titles, according to what collecting or archiving is or might be to their understanding. The books gathered are an heterogeneous collection available for consultation at FormContent every weekend for the entire duration of the show. Swiss artist Luca Frei has especially designed the shelving system that hosts the collection, the open shelves offer open access to an archive in progress. A database of titles will be available on our website and, at the end of the two month project, a publication will follow documenting the final index of the temporary collection created at FormContent.
Far from a dusty library or a clinical reading room, FormContent will become a lively meeting point to discuss and question what might constitute a collection, how it may function and eventually what could be done with it.
During the eight weeks, in addition to our developing collection, we will host four activation moments with special projects by:
- Chapter 1: Edgar Schmitz – Some disappearances and a bit of noise 12–15 February
- Chapter 2: Charlotte Moth – Potential Narratives 27 February–1 March
- Chapter 3: Guestroom – Choir 13–15 March
- Chapter 4: Raymond Taudin Chabot – Matteo Terzaghi & Marco Zürcher 27–29 March and 3–5 April
A warm thank you to our contributors:
Francesco Barocco, Becky Beasley, Mélanie Bouteloup, Pablo Bronstein, Barbara Casavecchia, Davide Cascio, Alex Cecchetti, Luca Cerizza, Pedro Cid Proenca, Kit Craig, Stefano Collicelli Cagol, Wouter Davidts, Paulus M. Dreibholz, Maria Fusco, Tessa Giblin, HIT, The Infinite Library (Daniel Gustav Cramer & Haris Epaminonda), Will Holder, Martin Karlsson, Pablo Lafuente, Pedro Lagoa, Lisa Le Feuvre, Gareth Fox, Luca Lo Pinto, Benoît Maire, Francesco Manacorda, Luca Martinazzoli, Simone Menegoi, Paul O’Neill, James Oscar, Matt Packer, Reto Pulfer, Jasper Rigole, Dylan Stone.
Special thanks to Daniella Saul and Francis Thorburn.