Outlined: Trajectory Oral History
In 2021, CKV started with a trajectory around oral history. It is not just about interviews with artists, rather, the aim is to specifically capture information related to the art archive. We also want to document the lives, careers and practices of artists; map important relationships and networks; explain possible gaps in the legacy; and answer all questions about the legacy.
Not all relevant information is immortalised on paper, some stories are hidden in the memories of those involved. If not properly documented, this information is in danger of being lost, so recording it durably contributes to the contextualization of an art archive. This reflective attitude leads to a better understanding of the archive and will therefore benefit our own service to the public.
Other actors from the artistic field too will be discussed, like gallery owners, art critics, researchers and so on – in the context of their own archive, or in the context of the story of yet another actor. This layered approach contributes to a broader perspective.
To achieve this, CKV is working on a methodological plan, in Dutch a so-called ‘plan van aanpak’. A suitable interview method and registration procedure will be drawn up; the possibilities for opening up the archive will be mapped; and we will enter into partnerships and follow specific training courses.
To this end, existing initiatives at home and abroad were scrutinised. Examples are the American CALL-VoCA Talks, the Dutch SBMK’s artist interviews, or the podcast Sculpting Lives in Britain.
By the end of 2021, we want to set up our first pilots. Yet in the meantime, the oral history will still be documented. In this context, a nice recording of a conversation with Io Van Oostveldt, Mark Verstockt‘s widow, was made, tackling specific themes as well as concrete archival documents. During spring 2021, we also had an ‘Unboxing the Archive’ session with Marc Schepers, founder and archive creator of Ruimte Morguen.