State of Art Archiving in Iran, Now & Then
What will remain of Iranian Contemporary Art if Iran goes to war and everything is bombarded? Are the museums and art objects currently chosen to be preserved representative of Iranian Contemporary Art? How will our understanding of our own past be formed? Inside the Islamic Republic of Iran, national archives and private galleries were initiated, partially in order to preserve historical material, yet many documents are still excluded from preservation. In 1995, Jacques Derrida stated that " ...the documents, which are not always discursive writings, are only kept and classified under the title of the archive by virtue of a privileged topology. They inhabit this uncommon place, this place of election where law and singularity intersect privilege."1 Iranian Contemporary Art suffers from a lack of institutional support and with that also from a lack of preservation of materials. Archives need authority, physical space, and shelter. The ideal archive should be transparent and at the same time concealed, it should be accessible and at the same time preserved. An Archive of that kind does not yet exist in Iran. This paper will build upon archival theory and examine the history and current state of the archive in Iran by analyzing the political, financial and social obstacles in the formation of an institutional or private organization dedicated to persevering materials and engaging in a discourse of the archive. The author proposes an archiving model for Iranian contemporary art based on extensive field research conducted in Iran in 2015-16.