Lighting the Archive with Mike Sperlinger

Objects in Time

Exposing photographic archives

Lighting the Archive, which went online in 2020, is an open-ended series of conversations with artists like Annette Kelm, Elfie Semotan, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Ulrich Wüst about photographic techniques, structures of order, and materialities. The conversations are invariably framed by questions about where the photographers see their life’s works and legacies over the long term—what, in other words, is to become of their oeuvres one day. In Objects in Time, Lighting the Archive engages the writer and curator Mike Sperlinger in dialogue. Sperlinger studied the careers of the photographers Marianne Wex and Chauncey Hare through the lens of the art market’s economy of attention and interwove biographical facts with external circumstances shaping their paths, including their withdrawals from the art system and their eventual rediscovery as “forgotten artists.” A re-published essay by Mike Sperlinger relates how the latter was possible; Lighting the Archive’s Maren Lübbke-Tidow and Rebecca Wilton spoke to the author to discuss the central role that the question of the archive played in his efforts.

Funded by Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien

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