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New Additions – and on the Importance of Sharing

During my recent stay in Venice, two moments particularly stood out to me: the first being the opportunity to experience Nil’s installation in person (but I have already spokenabout that in a previous post ) and the second, receiving new archives from Galerist, the gallery that has represented Nil in Istanbul for several years.

Several months ago, I reached out to the gallery. I sent them an email without any expectations, a bottle in the sea as they say. My request was simple: did they have archives on Nil’s work and would they be willing to share them? We had an initial exchange over Zoom, and our discussion was very enthusiastic.

A few months later, about a week ago, I received an email from the gallery that brought a smile to my face. I was delighted to discover a link to their Google Drive: a breeding ground for new additions for the archive.

At the moment, I am still in the process of reviewing the files sent and comparing them with those I have collected since the beginning of the project. However, from a first glance, I am thrilled: I quickly saw photographs of a young Nil that I had never seen before, as well as longer excerpts of videos. Of course, it is only with Nil’s permission (and the gallery’s) that I will add these archives to the database. Regardless, this sharing is extremely valuable and constitutes an indispensable complement to the final archive. My gratitude for Galerist’s contribution and collaboration is immense. Thank you.

For me, this collaboration is a perfect illustration of the importance of exchange and cooperation in the archival world. These are not just methodological choices, but almost ethical and philosophical imperatives. The romantic image of the archivist as a solitary actor, isolated from the world, is far from reality. On the contrary, and it is precisely the aim of Archivorum to break down this static image of the archival world, the archivist is an agent who operates at the heart of a network of relationships and exchanges. Their mission transcends the simple act of conservation; it is part of a collective dynamic in which each player contributes to the development of a shared memory.

I also believe that interdisciplinary collaboration broadens the horizons of archival science. By teaming up with historians, curators, IT specialists and librarians, archivists open up to new perspectives and complementary skills. Interdisciplinarity makes it possible to approach documents from a variety of angles, enriching their processing and interpretation. It embodies the convergence of knowledge, with each discipline shedding its own light on an often hidden aspect of archives. I believe this is why I attach such importance to bringing together the views and archives of art historians, gallery owners and members of Nil’s family. Archives are in the plural.

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