Archive is a 7 Letter Word by Roos Wijnen

A two-day workshop, “Archive is a 7 Letter Word,” dedicated to the creative reuse of archives, took place at ICA. The event was led by Roos Wijnen, an Amsterdam-based curator, artist, and advisor specializing in working with emerging artists to help them in their conceptual phase and commissioned work.
In this workshop, participants discussed and learned more about institutional archiving by reflecting on their own archives and seeing how these can help them in their artistic process.
Additionally, during this discussion, they reflected on opening archives and whether creative reuse is a way to provide greater access to information and enable us to reinterpret history.

"How we describe archives is different from person to person. How we categorize or define an archival piece is personal. What we see or look for in an archive is based on one perspective—yours. That perspective can be based on historical events, symbolic references, or can be more intuitive. How can you use an institutional archive with those personal references? How do you know how to look for what you’re looking for? And if you have found what you were looking for, can you reuse it for your personal artwork? Changing the context and remixing it with other images or material. During my residency, I have spoken with many artists and curators questioning these aspects and mostly curious if there were any cultural differences between the Armenian and Dutch approaches regarding archives, open access, and creative reuse.

During my residency, I noticed that it was not the differences I should look for, but the common ground we share. 'Archive is a seven-letter word' became a dialogue on the stories that haven’t been told or documented. Every society is fluid, and an archive is a foundation that is stuck in time. Creative reuse of archival items is a possibility not to reproduce history but to tell new stories. So those stories can be reused, to be reused, and be re..etc. So we make an archive that is fluid and more ours. An archive where we feel represented by and can relate to. Just for now. Till somebody else comes along. And will reuse..and reuse.." says Roos Wijnen