Date of Degree
MFA (Master of Fine Arts)
32% of the Archive explores memory, loss, and the power of ephemera through recording and re-presenting objects from a personal archive. Through uniform recording, framing, and treatment of the art objects, 32% of the Archive, attempts to neutrally display personal objects so the audience can objectively investigate the material. The gesture falls short of impartial, though, for the specificity of the subject and the enormity of the act carries an emotional charge. Beyond presenting data, this work reflects a sincere effort to remember and preserve, to puzzle and piece together, to pay homage to what is lost in the transience of life. These re-presentations recall the concept of the indexical image. It is not the thing itself but the trace of the thing. It is not the moment itself but the conjured memory of the moment and the place and the people who inhabited it. Struggling to find the appropriate distance from these personal objects reflects the ambivalence of love, loss, and memory. But this is the true power of the photograph--to preserve and keep present that which is ephemeral.
Copyright 2011 Jill Elise Kambs
Kambs, Jill Elise. "32% of the archive." master's Master's thesis, University of Iowa, 2011.