Mishandled Archive

With multitudes of stunning photographs, dance scores, essays and stories told in hashtags, Mishandled Archive records and reflects on Tara Fatehi Irani’s intentional scattering and displacement of a family archive. Elegantly designed by David Caines, the book offers a space to reimagine what it means to create, disseminate, dismantle and continue the life of an archive. 

Every day for a year, artist and writer Tara Fatehi Irani dispersed fragments of family photographs and documents in public places in the UK, Iran, Switzerland, Kurdistan, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, the Persian Gulf, and in between borders and amongst the clouds. She made a photograph, an annotation, a dance and an Instagram post on the site of each dispersal. 

The project embraces nomadism, taking up temporary homes in unexpected public places and in the bodies of those who encounter it. In this nomadic dispersal, there is potential for sites, bodies and histories to intermingle and reimagine themselves through a fantasy of possible futures. 

Contributions by artists, writers and researchers expand and reflect on the themes of the project including creative engagement with archives, anthropophagy and history, accumulating forgettable objects, fictional kinship, homelessness, and choreographing uncertainty. 

Contributors: Nicola Conibere, Maddy Costa, Diana Damian Martin, Eirini Kartsaki, Joe Kelleher, Shahram Khosravi, Giulia Palladini, Mary Paterson, Marco Pustianaz, Anahid Ravanpoor, Holly Revell and Jemima Yong.

Get special editions and signed copies of Mishandled Archive here.

Tara Fatehi Irani’s 'Mishandled Archive' publication folds time and space in complex ways, creating a strange weave of collected images, near and distant lives, real and imagined pasts, instagram posts and minimalist dance scores. In its detailed, endlessly reflexive record of a year long performance it speaks of diasporic experience, displacement and new modes of what might be called belonging. It’s a compelling project that celebrates the fragility, tenaciousness and fecundity of memory and the extraordinary capacity of images to summon narratives as they interact with landscape, casting a spell of connection between strangers in locations around the world, from London to Tehran, Newcastle to Zurich.

Bio

Tara Fatehi Irani (b. 1987, Tehran) makes art, writes and performs. Her practice explores the ephemeral interactions between memories, words, bodies and sites and has grown through transnational collaborations with a range of artists, writers, choreographers and musicians recently including Karen Christopher, Pouya Ehsaei, Station House Opera and DARC. She has performed at the Royal Academy of Arts, SPILL Festival, Battersea Arts Centre, Nuffield Theatre (Lancaster), Toynbee Studios, RichMix, HighFest and Molavi Theatre amongst others. Her practice-as-research PhD (University of Roehampton, LADA, 2019) explores mishandling archives through multivocality, pyromania, mythology and web‑archaeography. In 2021, she will be resident artist at EoFA and the United Nations Archives at Geneva.

www.tarafatehi.com
Tara Fatehi Irani, Mishandled Archive, day 359, ‘Madonna of the Rocks’, 2017
In this gem of a book, Tara Fatehi Irani expands even further her vast creative exploration of how remembered histories link to global networks of bodies, spaces, and temporalities. Deploying a range of media from the oldest known to human communities (oral history and gossip) to the newest (social media), passing through archival research and modes of documentation, Fatehi Irani's nomadic performative process creates new worlds. This book both informs and dazzles for any interested in history, memory, archives, and performance.

Banner image credit:

Book cover of Mishandled Archive by Tara Fatehi Irani, published by the Live Art Development Agency, 2020.

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