From the Collection to the Archive: A Reflection on the Production of Images in the 1974—1989 Inter-Revolutionary Space between the Carnation and the Velvet Revolutions
led by Ana de Almeida, Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies
Project start: 20.09.2014
Starting from a set of amateur photos taken by my father, José Alberto Vidal de Almeida—a Portuguese scholarship-holding student in former Czechoslovakia from 1978 to 1987—my dissertation traces the transformation of a collection of photos stored inside a shoebox into an archive where lived and transmitted (inscribed) experience is articulated alongside macro-political and historical processes. The analysis of the archive allows a simultaneous look into the final years of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia and the first years after the left-wing revolution in Portugal in April 1974. Taking autoethnography as its starting point, the objective of this research is to address the idea of a collective memory of revolution. It asks: how this memory is constantly formed, who are its protagonists, and how the potential for social upheaval it carries can be deliberately suppressed or released. Ultimately, it analyses different processes of image production in the inter-revolutionary archive.
Ana de Almeida is an artist from Lisbon, currently living and working in Vienna. After studying Painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Lisbon and Media Arts at the Lahti Art Institute, she continued her studies in Vienna, completing a Master in Critical Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts with a scholarship from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. She is a member of the artists’ collective dienstag abend, of VBKÖ and of the Interndinner collective against precarization of work in the cultural field. Her artistic practice addresses memory and remembering processes; narrative constructions that connect space and subject; and plurispatial and multilayered narratives in general.
Ana de Almeida is currently recipient of a DOC-Team Fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and employed as researcher at the Institute of Art Theory and Cultural Studies of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna where, under the supervision of Univ.-Prof. Diedrich Diederichsen, she is pursuing a doctoral thesis about the production of images and its ideological implications in the 1974—1989 inter-revolutionary space between the Carnation and the Velvet Revolutions. She has worked as lecturer at the Institute for Art and Cultural Studies of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and at the German Department of the University of Vienna.
Recent shows and projects have been with CAV Centre for Visual Arts in Coimbra (2022), House of Arts Ústí nad Labem (2021), Kunsthalle Wien (2020), Tabakalera International Centre for Contemporary Culture in Donostia/San Sebastián (2020), GHMP Prague City Gallery (2019) and MAAT Museum for Art, Architecture and Technology in Lisbon (2018) to name a few. Ana de Almeida was 2021 recipient of the Austrian State Grant for Media Arts, 2017-2019 Junior Fellow at the IFK International Research Center for Cultural Studies in Vienna and winner of the BES Revelação Art Prize of the Serralves Foundation and Museum for Contemporary Art in Oporto in 2011.
Keywords: Revolution, desire, archive, postmemory