A Story Within and Beyond
In 2013 I collaborated with The Endangered Archives Project at the British Library. EAP rescues collections that may otherwise have been lost. I have looked specifically at a digitalized photographic archive of Siberian indigenous peoples.
I investigated the science of photography at the turn of the 19th and 20th century, as well as the character of ethnographic research of that time. The selection of the glass plate images for the photoetchings was a very difficult one and I wanted through the choices I made to shed some light on how the images were taken in the first place, often in a random way. The prints are an attempt to keep alive the stories of the indigenous peoples of Siberia at the turn of the 20th century.
I worked with the digital archive and I never saw the original glass plate negatives for this particular project. I visited the British Library archive where a lot of glass plate negatives from the time of the British Empire were kept to familiarize myself with the glass plates as objects in their own rights. Making physical prints of the digitalized collection brought new life to a digitalized collection and the glass plate negatives as well.
It would not have been possible to make the prints without the permission of the Krasnoiarsk Regional Museum and the input of anthropologist Craig Campbell.
The project culminated in the prints being shown in the Encounters between Art and Science exhibition at The British Library in London.
Aga Tamiola is a Polish multimedia artist working out of Berlin and London. Her geographical and linguistic misplacement led her to focus on the aspects of loss, identity and belonging in the context of globalization and new technologies. Aga explores mutability of matter in sculptural assemblages fusing materials and processes.