top of page
BS 2020-VV- Je suis l’archive-076.jpg


“What happens if the histories you want to know have left no records behind?”

Euridice Zaituna Kala is the archive. The archive is enmeshed in the pores of her skin, the folds of her memory and her recollections of meetings, texts and journeys.

Invited by the ADAGP (Association for the Development of the Graphic and Visual Arts), Villa Vassilieff and Bibliothèque Kandinsky [library] to work with the Marc Vaux collection, Euridice Zaituna Kala has herself become the archive. Euridice has enthusiastically taken on this new role by searching for familiar figures from her memories and personal set of references: Josephine Baker, James Baldwin, her father Getulio Mario Kala... By becoming the archive, Euridice gathers, sorts and interprets information according to its affective value rather than its historical relevance. Becoming the archive means reclaiming power by writing history free of institutional norms. It means shedding light on people and geographical areas who have been deliberately excluded from historical accounts and giving visibility to groups of people who have been forgotten by hegemonic narratives. “I became this other power that was going to foreground whatever I wanted and however I wanted to portray it, regardless of how it has been established in existing archives.” By approaching the archive through her individual subjectivity and focusing on people she is intimately connected to, the artist attempts to develop a plural, personal and deviant manner of recounting history. As Euridice browsed the Marc Vaux collection certain photographs caught her eye: a portrait of the Black model Aïcha Goblet, sketches of Josephine Baker by Jean de Botton and two portraits of unknown nude Black models. The artist was drawn to these familiar bodies which resembled her own. Euridice reflected on these bodies’ presence in these photographs and their absence from the archives from which monolithic narratives of modern art have been constructed. Rather than reproducing these photographs in her exhibition, the artist instead chose to use narration to draw attention to the bodies frozen and framed in

these images – trapped by the projections and fantasies of others...

Camille Chenais


bottom of page