Banu Cennetoğlu presents 04.09.2014, a monumental archive that aims to compile the newspapers distributed in the United Kingdom and the Channel Islands in a single day.
Materialising through Cennetoğlu’s artistic process of collecting, compiling, categorising, arranging and displaying, this on-going research project has previously been undertaken in Turkey, Switzerland, Cyprus and 19 Arabic-speaking countries, in which the artist researches, collects, collates and archives a day’s news. The differences in what does and does not constitute news in these varying papers, which include publications for minority communities and regional areas, becomes evident from simply comparing the front page headlines. Juxtaposing these varying newspapers with varying local inclinations creates forced combinations that serve to emphasise these differences despite their uniform format. By collecting these daily and weekly disposable publications, all dated 04.09.2014, and binding them into 46 preserved and archived volumes, they form a reference library, within which the wealth of information contained becomes both art object and subject.
The addition of the photograph re-arrangements? (2014) further disentangles the notion of seriality in collecting and archiving. This work marks the beginning of a new series in which the artist photographs her photographic archive of slides. What is the potential for a singular photograph lifted from an archive of imagery? Cennetoğlu often revisits her background working with photography, as well artists’ books and books as artworks, questioning the capacity of photographic recording. Her book work CATALOG is an archive of photographs, each with its own reference and each providing its own historical archive, brought together and indexed subjectively by the artist into categories. The compilation of images into one volume or archive cancels the hierarchy or background archive of each image as a separate entity, yet when one single image is lifted from this archive a different significance is re-established. The same can be said of the newspapers: their uniformity and seriality creates a non-hierarchical overview of news, yet newspapers themselves are fundamentally hierarchical; the front-page splash, the placement of articles and stories inside. The Brautigan Library, A Very Public Library… (2013)*, a poster created for free-distribution, similarly contemplates different ways in which to conceive of an archive or a library, through a horoscope reading of the library, a collection of 304 physical manuscripts, mostly unpublished, shared by the authors.
The exhibition challenges the idea of an archive of knowledge, exploring and participating in information production, distribution and sharing. Cennetoğlu’s work presents an index of samples from in-depth research, with which the audience can integrate, through reading every newspaper cover-to-cover, to simply browsing the library shelves. The notion and label of the ‘library’ becomes metaphorical and self-reflexively referential, as the newspaper volumes cannot be borrowed, and are elevated to the status of artworks. In this way, for the duration of the exhibition, the gallery itself becomes a research centre and reference library.
* “The Brautigan Is A Taurus” by Genevieve Jacobs, originally published in The 23 (Vol. 2, No. 3, June 1992), a quarterly newspaper by the Brautigan Library.