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J a n e t  M c E w a n

Holding Movements 11


Holding Movements II : Archiving the Farm

Cornish Studies Library

Cornwall Centre, Redruth. 20.2.12 - 3.3.12



The prospect of installing work in the Cornish Studies Centre, where I first discovered 'A Cornish Farmer's Diary' by James Stevens, (1847-1918), which inspired my own farm journal, ( the bones of this project) prompted me, like a good number of artists and thinkers before me to contemplate the nature of the archive, as mediator of the past, and as Sven Spieker asserts 'crucible of twentieth century modernism'.

Through appropriating some of the apparatus of the archive- processing and formatting images to suit the storage systems, such as the microfilm reader, and defying others, such as producing enormous unstable documents with mud on paper: farmyard and tractor tyre prints after Cage and Rauschenberg's Automobile Print, 1953, I have been considering what even the contemporary archive might not be able to accomodate..... what cannot be documented, whose voices are privileged, and the implications when attempting to describe the layered, textured and highly situated phenomena of the argricultural holding to an increasingly beauractratic and digitised world.


I decided to donate a selection of work from this exhibition to the Cornish Archive. My offer has been accepted and the box of work will catalogued within the permanent collection and available to view by any member of the public from early July 2012.


Holding Movements in currently included in the Cornwall Council Library Catalogue.

Use link above or enter 'Janet McEwan'into library catalogue search.


The boxed collection is for reference only.

It is held at the Cornish Studies Library in Redruth and can be viewed during the library opening hours.

It can be also delivered to any library in Cornwall for a small fee ( £1). However check the library has a microfilm reader if you wish to view the images on film.



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