Archive Fever: the installation

AUTUMN 2022 ︎︎︎ Archive Fever: the installation

Archive Fever was a multi-screen installation developed in response to Modern Painters, New Decorators 2022 exhibition programme also titled ‘Archive Fever’. The installation was hosted by Institute Research Lab, as part of Loughborough Lates.

As part of the Archive Fever project, we documented our conversations with six of the main contributors, including the artists, A museum manager and the museum collection curator in order to produce a series of short films which consider some of the stories behind the project. The conversations approached themes of preservation, family history, nostalgia, conspiracy theories and heritage, as well as the more personal responses individuals had as they encountered the objects stored in the Leicestershire Museum Collection facilities.

In each of the four exhibitions, we displayed the films as they were being produced; on outmoded television sets that hum and whine and hurt your eyes to watch. Towards the end of this series of exhibitions, we wanted to screen the films altogether, utilising the timeworn TVs.

On a Friday evening in November, we welcomed almost a hundred people to Institute Research Lab, the venue of the ‘installation’. The installation comprised multiple screens stacked on top of each other, some displaying talking heads interviews and footage from the project, and others honing in on a selection of handpicked items from the collection. A fox wrapped in plastic, a town crier's hat, herbarium specimens. The archaic televisions displayed grainy images of objects, vessels for stories and shared histories emptied of their original colours. Ghostlike they appeared, and vanished, haunting the conversations that summoned their presence. 

Words by Joshua Jones

Words by Josie Jones