Looking for creative uses of archival imagery within photography - any projects/artists spring to mind?

Hey dotters! With Covid continuing to herald the apocalypse, my wonderful graduate documentary project has had to come to an unfortunate standstill. Without access to the location I'm interested in, I'll have to get a bit creative and think outside the box when finishing the work. The obvious direction to go into are archives, so I'm asking you: What are some photographers/visual artists that you know of, using archives in novel and creative ways within their practice? I need all the inspiration I can get right now, so any insights will be more than welcome!


  • Hey Yassen,

    Broomberg and Chanarin have used archives in "People in Trouble Laughing Pushed to the Ground" amongst other works.

    Artists like Robert Heineken and Richard Prince may be interestig to look at as well, whilst it's not necesarily arichive based they would utilise mass media in interesting ways.
  • Check out a collective call black in the day they archive britains black communities

  • Look up Michael Lesy, who taught at Hampshire College for many years. He is not a photogrpaher, but did several books based on archival photos.
  • For https://literatuurmuseum.nl/ we used a lot of stuff from the archives of the dutch library. You can browse around. All in dutch tho.
  • Yep, Lucía Montero uses a lot of found photography and found footage in her work. Her artist bio on the about page explains her approach in more details. :)
    > luciamontero.com/
  • Hi Yassen

    I was working at a Gallery before the Lock-Down and we had an artist in called Giles Round. He went in to the Design Archives and made screen prints in the space in response to photgraphic imagery ressurected from archival boxes. It was a real gem to witness.

  • Hi Yassen, have a look at something I have been working on called PROJECT..watch the video below the gallery. Hope this helps. https://riverstudio.co.uk/project/
  • Joan Fonctuberta - I think

    John Stekazer

    John Piper
    find it here

    I found in this article Ilya Kabakov

    then I guess there are many artists dealing with time in a way their work somehow gives birth to a sort of archival form

    for ex I think of Roni Horn https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/roni-horn-aka-roni-horn

    uhhh I think the list is almost infinite

    the way Rachel Whiteread captures space and non-space

    this is my way of seeing archival forms also related to these artists
    ahh also ON KAWARA definitely dealing with time his work itself becoming an archive

    art & language

    I could keep on the whole day

    good luck with your research :)

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