Documentation as a
"flea." Memory as an item. Memory creation as a purpose in
itself – dialogue with the overflow of documentation (in art,
tourism, family events). Documentation instead of performance. Archive as
a quotation of a city. The artistic act (city documentation) is completed
before the action (the biennial) begins, and only its memory
(catalog-diary) and the spectator's action remain: watching the action
memory as reconstruction of the city and the artistic action.
Documentation of seemingly irrelevant aspects of history and constructing
place memory, in an attempt to create poetics of the city's Over Memory*.
* The concept Over
Memory, coined by the Portuguese scholar Joao Delgado, refers to areas in
individual and collective memory that are conceived as meaningless and
purposeless even though they are central to pertinent mapping. See: Maure, A., "Paradigma de la memoria y sobrememoria -
Bocetos para una arqueologia del olvido", Ruptura Nro. 123, 1993,
Archives at the Bienniale
of Performance Art
The Over Memory Archive of Jaffa is the outcome of our (namely: external
artists) efforts to document and catalog the city. We set to catalog the
irrelevant, “marginal,” as it were, aspects of the city
(cross-documentation), in an attempt to construct other, different,
poetic representation and memory, believing that what we conceive as
irrelevant might unveil an additional facet of the city and thus
complement the relevant which is always relative.
In the context of the biennial, we wanted to create an action that would
not take place in front of an art audience (the biennial spectators), but
rather chose to act vis-a-vis the city inhabitants. The artistic act was
an ambivalent act of encounter and estrangement: day in, day out, for
about a week, city inhabitants were exposed to the documentation of,
inter alia, locks, vegetation, sky, zebra crossings, cars passing by,
walking rhythm, urban air-conditioning sounds, street names, graffitis.
In place of the action, we chose to present the documentation to the
biennial audience, believing that sometimes the documentation – the
material on-, the discourse about- – is more meaningful than the
actual artistic act. And since we had decided at the beginning of our
field-work not to document the “artistic act” itself, we
brought with us a catalog (along with documentation items) qua action
memories, travel journal (including times, dates, locations and
descriptions), activity log, that allowed us to reconstruct the artistic
act by tracing our movement in the city and simultaneously revisit the
city and our encounters with it as we were watching over memory items.
How to Use the
The archival material is cataloged thematically (Category),
chronologically (Date), temporally (Time), geographically (Address), and
descriptively (Description), as well as providing the original location
of the item (Master) and its place in the catalog (Shelf). In addition,
each item has a catalogic entry that includes information about the
respective media: P – stills, V – video clips, S –
One can search and arrange the items according to the divisions in the
librarians’ catalog, or look for them in the printed edition
according to date and category.
In addition, there are maps that map the documentation activity according
to date and theme, see: Atlas.
(It is worth mentioning that the catalogic items were not edited or
elaborated in any way.)
Jaffa – Over Memory:
a. November 5-14,
Documentation in stills, video and sound of seemingly irrelevant aspects
b. November 15-19,
Classification and cataloging the material within a catalog that refers
readers chronologically and thematically to the documentation, and
provides them with information about the media.
Inviting the general public to use the archive during the festival. The
exercise’s aim: writing and creating material for electronic book:
Over Memory ñ I – Outlines for an Over Historiography of Jaffa.
c. November 20-22,
Over Memory Archive. The archive was open to the general public,
researchers, artists, intellectuals, tourists and inquisitive people.
Closing the archive – locking the archival material with an index.
The archive would be destroyed along with the publication of the
electronic book (stage d).
d. November 23 to
December 31, 2003
Preparing the electronic book.
e. January 1, 2004
(tentative date), without time limit
Publication of Over Memory ñ I – Outlines for an Over
Historiography of Jaffa (various authors), and its dissemination in
libraries throughout Israel,
and in research institutions dedicated to the study of Jaffa.