Order and disorder
Archives and photography
Penelope DAVIS
Shelf (2008)
from the fiction-non-fiction series 2007-08
type C photograph
90.0 x 70.0 cm (image) 104.1 x 84.2 cm (sheet)
ed. 2/5
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, Victorian Foundation for Living Australian Artists, 2008
2008.100
© Courtesy of the artist and Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne

Archives contain elements of truth and error, order and disorder and are infinitely fascinating. As both collections of records and repositories of data, archives are able to shape history and memory depending on how, when and by whom the materials are accessed. Their vastness allows for multiple readings to be unravelled over time.

Photography is naturally associated with archives because of its inherent ability to record, store and organise visual images. With this in mind, this exhibition brings together artists drawn largely from the permanent collection of the NGV who explore the idea of archives as complex, living and occasionally mysterious systems of knowledge. Several of the selected artists act as archivists, collecting and ordering their own unique bodies of photographs, while others create disorder by critiquing the ideas and systems of archives.


18 Oct 200819 Apr 2008 NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road
Photography, Level 3, NGVI
Photography, Level 3, NGVI