Archiving Presents

Tusia Dabrowska, Elisabeth Smolarz, Olia Sosnovskaya, Oraib Toukan; artistic direction by Vanessa Gravenor

exhibition, symposium/round table, workshop

© Stefanie Rau -

Video Installation

with works by Tusia Dabrowska and Elisabeth Smolarz
11.2.-12.2.2022 // 16:00-19:00
Soft Opening 10.2.22 // 17:00-

Panel Discussion

(Counter)archiving a Circulating Image
with Oraib Toukan & Olia Sosnovskaya
moderated by Vanessa Gravenor
10.2.22 // 18:00
2G++ (vaccinated or recovered + boostered or tested + medical mask)


How to listen to objects – a journey
with Elisabeth Smolarz
17.2.22 // 19:00 online via zoom
please register:


Images Installation & Panel


Photos: Amin Darbandi

Supported by

Video Installation – Panel Discussion – Workshop

Archiving Presents
event series with DESKTOP ARCHIVES

For its weeklong presentation at alpha nova & galerie futura, DESKTOP ARCHIVES will meditate through a panel discussion, a workshop, and video installation on ARCHIVING PRESENTS amidst the new conditions brought on by the global health crisis. In a time where trauma is inscribed on the everyday and the digital has become synonymous with access, how do artists archive their presents while troubling the tools and reading against new archival grains?  The archival refers rather to informal, transient files in-formation and personal archives that destabilize the power contained in the official document. Instead, digital traces and intimate, touching images reach across the distance and isolation that are now paramount. Photographs and images of civil dissent circulate spirits of protests, reframing what it means to engage politically in times of heightened corporal vulnerability, illness, and injury.

Beginning with a soft opening on Thursday February 10th, we encounter the figure of the artist as archivist through personal archives with a video installation. Elisabeth Smolarz’s THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THINGS, still image, stereo sound (2014-ongoing) shows intimate photographic portraits of significant items that acted as transitional objects through the covid-19 crisis. Tusia Dabrowska’s video FIRST WORLD PASSPORTS Audio, video, animation (2021) and MAGNETORECEPTION Audio, video & volumetric video (2021) reflect on diseased bodies and immobility through a filmed performance of the artists running through a deserted urban landscape on looped repeat.

On Thursday February 10th, a panel discussion “(Counter)archiving a Circulating Image” will take place with artist presentation by Oraib Toukan and Olia Sosnovskaya following a panel discussion moderated by Vanessa Gravenor. Toukan will screen excerpts from her video essay When Things Occur (2016) that reflects on the image economy of photographs of gaza inhabitants after the 2014 Israeli attacks.  Zooming in to the molecular layer of the digital photographic image, this work deepens an understanding of viewing suffering “at a distance” as well as the capitalist consumptive economy of violence. Olia Sosnovskaya will also present her video Counterattack (2020) that edited citizen documentation of the protests surrounding the presidential election in Belarus in the fall of 2020. Sosnovskaya will discuss her draw to remix these urgent images to Arkadiy Kots’s performance of Wladyslaw Szlengel’s poem on the Warsaw ghetto uprising in 1943, from a distance in the double exile between lockdowns. Both of these works uncover the tension between the digital and analogue in new archival forms.

We will end with a digital workshop on Thursday February 17th with artist Elisabeth Smolarz “How to listen to objects – a journey,” a discussion and workshop where the artist will instruct the participants in how to listen to objects by uncovering their residual traumas and stories with an eye towards pandemic experiences and feminist futures.

DESKTOP ARCHIVES is an online publishing initiative and series of artists talks that uses the internet as its first site to reach audiences. This platform is a living archive and launched its first issue in June 2021 and second issue in November 2021 and concludes in February 2022. Since its launch, the platform has showcased responses around the following prompt: what are you archiving from this time and how has the pandemic changed your thinking about proximity, relationality, conversation, and the archival tools themselves.

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