title: bia/oar (le bureau d’investigation d’archives/the office for archival review)

year: 2009

location: centre des arts actuels skol

duration: residency of five weeks followed by exhibition

supported by: skool

The Office for Archival Review is a group of artist-researchers that seeks to understand archival practices through on-site research projects. Employing a hands-on approach, the OAR’s production considers the role, relevance, and possibilities of an archive by using this material as a site of interaction, exchange and production. The OAR’s process questions strategies of record keeping and self-preservation: accumulation, reduction, preservation and destruction.The OAR was founded by Sabrina Russo and Karen Zalamea, who were soon after joined by Emily Pelstring, Anne-Marie Proulx, Maria Raponi, Karen Elaine Spencer, and Jasia Stuart. Confronted with an ever-growing mass of historical material, Centre des arts actuels Skol recruited the expertise of the OAR to conduct an investigation of their programming archives. This research project, the OAR’s first public initiative, was coordinated by Russo and Zalamea and presented as part of the Skool summer programming at Skol, June-August 2009.

things that can not be archived


photo: michael love



* * * *


skol’s archival boxes waiting for authorization

* * * *

letters to skol’s director anne bertrand seeking authorization to cremate one box of archives (the heaviest box) and to water another of the boxes (too dry.)

photos: guy l’heureux

to see the letters click on pdf link: karens.letters pdf


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