What: Beer Summit: Envisioning Artistic Engagement with the Archive
When: Sunday, June 8, 2014, 1:30-3:00 PM
Where: Western Exhibitions, 845 W Washington Blvd. Chicago, IL 60607


This presentation was a part of Locust Round Tables and EXPO Chicago.


Museum displays in presidential libraries are notorious for obfuscating the historical truths found in their archives. Famously, the displays in Ronald Reagan’s presidential library did not mention the Iran-Contra scandal even as it held the documents about those events. The mediated nature of archives has made them an important subject in contemporary art. Beer Summit: Envisioning Artistic Engagement with the Archive explored the practices of artists like Fred Wilson, James Luna and Walid Raad who have created archive displays that offer uncomfortable histories and ambiguous narratives that reshape public imagination about archival subjects. With bids under development in New York, Hawaii and Chicago for the Obama Presidential Center how do recent artistic interventions into archives help us envision a body of objects and documents that is a public resources for transformation?