With multitudes of stunning photographs, dance scores, essays and stories told in hashtags, Mishandled Archive records and reflects on Tara Fatehi Irani’s intentional scattering and displacement of a family archive. Elegantly designed by David Caines, the book offers a space to reimagine what it means to create, disseminate, dismantle and continue the life of an archive.
Every day for a year, Tara Fatehi Irani dispersed fragments of family photographs and documents in public places in the UK, Iran, Switzerland, Kurdistan, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, the Persian Gulf, and in between borders and amongst the clouds. She made a photograph, an annotation, a dance and an Instagram post on the site of each dispersal.
The project embraces nomadism, taking up temporary homes in unexpected public places and in the bodies of those who encounter it. In this nomadic dispersal, there is potential for sites, bodies and histories to intermingle and reimagine themselves through a fantasy of possible futures.
Contributions by artists, writers and researchers expand and reflect on the themes of the project including creative engagement with archives, anthropophagy and history, accumulating forgettable objects, fictional kinship, homelessness, and choreographing uncertainty.
Contributors: Nicola Conibere, Maddy Costa, Diana Damian Martin, Eirini Kartsaki, Joe Kelleher, Shahram Khosravi, Giulia Palladini, Mary Paterson, Marco Pustianaz, Anahid Ravanpoor, Holly Revell and Jemima Yong
"In this gem of a book, Tara Fatehi Irani expands even further her vast creative exploration of how remembered histories link to global networks of bodies, spaces, and temporalities. Deploying a range of media from the oldest known to human communities (oral history and gossip) to the newest (social media), passing through archival research and modes of documentation, Fatehi Irani's nomadic performative process creates new worlds. This book both informs and dazzles for any interested in history, memory, archives, and performance."
Professor Amelia Jones, University of Southern California
Published by Live Art Development Agency
Paperback, 190 x 268 mm
256 pages with c. 410 colour images
Supported by Arts Council England
Project producer: Lorenza Peragine
"Tara Fatehi Irani’s Mishandled Archive publication folds time and space in complex ways, creating a strange weave of collected images, near and distant lives, real and imagined pasts, Instagram posts and minimalist dance scores. In its detailed, endlessly reflexive record of a year long performance it speaks of diasporic experience, displacement and new modes of what might be called belonging. It’s a compelling project that celebrates the fragility, tenaciousness and fecundity of memory and the extraordinary capacity of images to summon narratives as they interact with landscape, casting a spell of connection between strangers in locations around the world, from London to Tehran, Newcastle to Zurich.”
Tim Etchells, Artist and Director of Forced Entertainment
sample spread from the book, designed by David Caines