The Archive by Charles Merewether


‘The Archive’ is a book that combines different artists and authors’ thoughts about archives. I like this because I get to flick through the pages and chose whichever essay I want to read, instead of reading the whole thing back to back.

Of course when I saw a text by Andy Warhol I immediately started reading it and it turned out to be extremely thought provoking and I love it. The essay is an extract from ‘The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)’ the book that he wrote. It starts off with such a powerful and strong statement : “I believe that everyone should live in one big empty space”.

Andy Warhol 1982
Andy Warhol

The most important thing for him is that the space is ‘clean and empty’ from all possessions. The ideal thing would be to not have any possessions, but Warhol says if you can’t bring yourself to throw everything away then you are allowed a ‘closet’ but it should be very far away from where you live: ‘If you live in New York, your closet should be, at the very least, in New Jersey’. To him all possessions are ‘dump’. That is such an interesting way to look at material possessions in a time and age where they are so praised by society. That is also what pop art is interested in. Warhol would collect the objects he came across over the course of a month and at the end of that month, drop it in a box and close it. This in itself is an archive and a very peculiar one at that (I would have loved to open up these boxes and have a look at what is inside).


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