Speech and What Archive began as a group of professional and emerging artists, curators, art historian and philosopher who came together find a new use-value for speech and the idea of archive. Initiated by A Constructed World in early 2009, the group included Clémence de Montgolfier, Marie Gautier, Yann Sérandour, Anna Hess, Liv Barrett, James Deutsher, Sébastien Pluot, Fabien Vallos, Etienne Bernard, Fabrice Reymond, Michele Robecchi, Matthew Rana and Guillaume Pavageau, and were based in Australia, Sweden, USA, UK and France.
Speech and What Archive participated in events and exhibitions including, ‘Based on a true story’, Ian Potter Museum of Art, The University of Melbourne, 2012 ; ‘What the monkey says no one pays attention to’, TCB Gallery, Melbourne, 2012; ‘A Floating Conversation’, performance realised for the launch of the book ‘Speech Objects’, Cneai, Paris, 2012; ‘A Love Medicine Show’, Café Pompier, for Evento, Bordeaux, 2011; ‘Avant Spectacle, a Micro Medicine Show’, Centre d’art contemporain de la Ferme de Buisson, 2010; ‘Paola Pivi’s GRRR JAMMING SQUEEK presents A Constructed World Medicine Show’, Sculpture International Rotterdam, 2011; ‘Speakeasy Medicine Show’, Biennale de Belleville, 2010; ‘Speech and What Archive, Melbourne Flottante’, Y3K gallery, Melbourne, 2010; ‘Explaining contemporary art to live eels #6’, Villa Arson, Nice 2010.
For more than four years the group worked around notions about what can and cannot be said, and by doing this questioned the group as a collective decision-making body. The Speech and What Archive Paper Room is the paper trace and trail from various organized workshops worldwide and was the support for conversations and micro events. Not only a work but a material space for research defined without apparent hierarchies. It became the structure for interventions and was constituted as a living archive that interacted with additional elements as the work progressed. The space was thus re-played or replaced as new materials were added to those already there. At the heart of it, the project questioned modes of the appearance and dissemination of knowledge and transmission, the original, the re-make and re-see and re-interpret.
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