Stephan Crasneanscki, What We Leave Behind - Jean-Luc Godard Archives, 2014.
Stephan Crasneanscki’s photographs are taken from a genuine yet largely forgotten audio-visual archive of Jean-Luc Godard, (re)discovered by chance somewhere in France. The images are mostly documentary in nature and feature vast piles of cardboard crates, packaging, reels and VHS tapes. They offer, directly or indirectly, an impression of the life of the film-maker and his works.
As is often the case with archives, the sheer volume of content is sometimes overwhelming, perhaps even disheartening. Where do we start in our efforts to make sense of it all? Is this attempt to find meaning even a worthwhile pursuit? It is a collection that titillates and evokes memory.
From this apparently chaotic arrangement, he captures a number of more abstract images, with superimposed documents, scribbles, papers and notes, some of which are reminiscent of the style of Cy Twombly. They may offer some important insights, but they also add to the confusion. The eye is keen to understand; what it may learn from this encoded mystery is the fact that the pen, the visual quality of the ellipses and the imprint are the bedrock of indexing. Yet the spirit is keen to know. What can we learn from these archives? Are they used? Can they even be used?