Jeremy Millar

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Untitled (A Speculation on the Afterlife of Images (Page: 1/2)
2010

Reproductions from German newspapers dated 26 October 1929; pins; pinboards

This piece makes reference to the famous Mnemosyne Atlas project of the German art historian Aby Warburg (1866–1929). The Mnemosyne Atlas, or Memory Map, was a massive, and yet fragmentary, assemblage of images which Warburg arranged (and re-arranged) obsessively over the last five years of his life. Upon 79 wooden panels, each covered with dark fabric, he pinned some 2000 photographs from his own extensive collection, including reproductions of classical statues, renaissance paintings, and even contemporary newspaper cuttings and advertisements. In assembling images from such diverse sources, he hoped to identify how certain gestures of Classical bodies in motion emerge many centuries later in the art of the Florentine Renaissance, or even German newspaper images from the late 1920s, each image possessing a particular 'pathos formula' which emerges through time in similar attitudes and expressions.
    My project for the exhibition  'Mulberry Tree Press'  at SE8 offered a nascent version of this: upon my noticeboards were pinned photographs cut from German newspapers published on the day of Warburg's death, 26 October 1929. These images were part of the world in which he lived — even if they shared it only briefly — yet would never

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