Hanne Darboven and the Endless Archive


Cynthia Cruz sees a lot of Walter Benjamin in Hanne Darboven's Kulturegeschichte 1880–1983, currently on exhibit at Dia:Chelsia. The exhibit pamphlet says Darhoven "[weaves] together cultural, social, and historical references with autobiographical documents, it synthesizes personal history with collective memory"–a description that could apply to any number of artworks. Cruz is more insightful, noticing that Darboven creates an "endless archive" which "does not describe the world around her but rather reflects it, remaining inside and refusing to participate in the distancing and violence of objectification that are inherent in description." This was also Benjamin's technique for recreating history: gather objects around a single point of view, then allow historical objects to speak for themselves.

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