This website is the digital record of The Fountain Archives by Saâdane Afif, an ongoing collection of publications containing one or several reproductions of the work Fountain (1917) by Marcel Duchamp.
Started in 2008, The Fountain Archives is currently approaching 850 publications and will be continued until its 1001st. When found, the publications are registered with an archive number ranging from FA 0001 to infinity. Saâdane Afif tears out the page where Fountain is depicted and has it framed. If a publication contains images of the work on several pages, all of them are torn out and together they form a polyptych.
The framed pages constitute the active part of The Fountain Archives, which are continuously displayed in various exhibitions worldwide. The publications, left devoid of their Fountains, are then stored on bookshelves in the artist’s studio. The expanding bookshelves create an archive around Duchamp’s readymade, from which the common initiator has been removed: an archive without its object.
After several years, The Fountain Archives started to be commented upon, explained or reviewed in many printed publications, with images of Fountain by Duchamp now illustrating essays about Saâdane Afif’s work. These pages signal an evolution in the development and perception of The Fountain Archives as an artwork. On The Fountain Archives’ website, they are tagged under a specific section titled Augmented, which forms, step by step, an archive within the Archives.
The bookshelves and the Augmented section together constitute the passive part of the project. They will be exhibited publicly for the first time as the focal point of the world tour of The Fountain Archives. Beginning in January 2017 at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the tour coincides with the one-hundredth anniversary of Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain. This strategic timing is key to the completion of the work — with this important anniversary, The Fountain Archives is hoped to find its concluding entry with a catalogue on Fountain that includes the work by Saâdane Afif, coming full circle at long last.
More information here
The Fountain Archives website has been officially launched on the occasion of Individual Stories. Collecting as Portrait and Methodology, a group exhibition held at Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (26 June – 11 October 2015).
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