THE ARCHIVE OF MEMORIES

By collecting, conserving and sharing individual memories,
we build an unique archive of contemporary living and remembering.

«The passage of time leaves us remains which pile up: photographs, drawings, felt-tip pens already dried up for a long time, shirts, returnable and non-returnable glasses, empty cigar cases, boxes, rubbers, postcards, books, dust and trinkets: that’s what I call my fortune.»

Georges Perec, Species of Spaces

The ARtME Collection

Developed by photographers Kai Becker and Livia Noll, the artist Barbara Cousin and the architect Amandine Descamps, The ARtME Collection gathers personal objects from different generations. By collecting, conserving and sharing individual memories, we want to build an archive of  emotions, values and incidents that ultimately defines who we are. 

The watch that belonged to a beloved grand-mother. The doll from childhood. The first photograph taken with a loved one. . . We collect these personal objects because we think that they are precious testimonies of our contemporary ways of living and remembering.

Even if they are intimate, personal and sometimes mundane, the objects of The Artme Collection are moving for all of us because they could belong to any one of us.  They reach out to us because many of them are so arbitrary and common that we might pass them unseen if they were not inscribed with such great personal meaning—meaning that becomes visible only through the stories linked to them. As a result, the objects let us encounter essential themes like childhood, love, loss and death. They make us think about our own memories and the objects we really care about. At the same time, we are able to relate to the pain, relief or happiness linked to the very moment of giving them up.

As Yvon Lemay said,

«Beyond the testimony function (…) and beyond the information function (…), archives also have an evocation function which make them move people.»

Following Lemay, The Artme Collection has to be considered as a collective archive which will show the next generations what matters in our contemporary way of living and remembering. Therefore The Artme Collection has to be preserved, shared and extended.

 

 

History & Forthcoming Events

We began the ARtME Collection in June 2016 during the festival of 48 Hours Neukölln at Richardplatz in Berlin, where we invited people to exchange personal objects for artworks. Back then we wrote:

You’ll find us at the Richardplatz during the art festival The 48 Hours of Neukölln. We’ll bring drawings and photographs we made. You can look at them… you could even own them. But not for money, they have to be exchanged, with something you have and you care about. You have to estimate what the artworks are worth and what you would be ready to give for one: a handmade woolly hat, an earring, a scarf you bought during a trip . . . as in garage sales you’ll have to weigh, to sound, to estimate. You can offer us anything you want, but it has to be linked to a personal memory, something you care about, a story that you’ll share with us. A picture will document the exchange and the story will be written down. Are we ready to leave something we care about behind to welcome something new?

During the festival, we met a lot of different people—women and men, singles and families, young and old. We spent time with each of them and shared very intimate and personal stories. During 48 hours, we gave away 50 artworks and received 50 personal objects and their stories in return. We were moved and thankful to the people we met.

We would like to enrich the Artme Collection by gathering new personal objects and their stories. To do so, we are looking for opportunities to create new Exchange events in Berlin and elsewhere. We are also looking for long-term loans and donations. As every collector, we are also very interested in showing and exhibiting our collection. As a consequence, we are looking for museums, galleries and art spaces in Berlin and elsewhere to host the Artme Collection. Don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!

The ARtME Team

Barbara Cousin

Artist
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Amandine Descamps

Architect
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Livia Noll

Photographer & Writer
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Kai Becker

Photographer
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