Lecture/paper (in English)
With the destruction of the Cologne Archive, a thousand years of German history was projected into the rain and mud; but it also included the legacy of my Jewish family that had previously already been marked by exclusion, during the Nazi régime – for in spite of having lived through persecution and exile, my family had been fortunate enough to possess archived material, over and above our oral history.
Although much of my written and artistic work, before and after the Cologne Archive incident in Germany had been related or dedicated to family history, I started to develop a series entitled Archive, in 2009, directly after the collapse of the Cologne Historical Archive. Personal Affects – Going into the Archive is a lecture/paper on some of this work but in particular about the history of the bequest that my siblings and I entrusted to the Archive in 1998, following the death of our mother in London.
Eberhard Illner, who until 2008 had been responsible for the departments Collections, Photography and Estates at the Historical Archives in Cologne, had expressed an interest in collecting our legacy because my British-German-Jewish family had been culturally active in Germany before and after the Second World War. I quote Illner, who since 2008 has been the Director of the Historical Centre in Wuppertal, speaking about our legacy in a German radio interview broadcast in January 2015:
You have to be aware that in Germany, not much has survived from this era, so that the deceased, suppressed cultural life in Germany was, or is actually only reconstructable by those creative artists in exile, who have emigrated — you will only find authentic material there.1
And here a quotation from Kölnisch Wasser (Eau de Cologne), a video-performance of mine from 1993:
How came it to pass
that I lost you?
will I ever find you again?
1 Working on the Archive – The Artist Tanya Ury By Astrid Nettling Broadcast: DEUTSCHLANDFUNK Radio — Cologne, Friday, 23rd Januar 2015, 8.10 — 9. pm (Translation from German Tanya Ury)
2015 (29.4) Tanya Ury’s power point presentation Personal Affects – Going into the Archive, featuring extracts from the videos Fury and archive burn out with a discussion, is being held at 17:00 – 18.30 at the invitation by Prof. Dr.nDora Osborne’s at Princess Dashkova Centre, 14 Buccleuch Place, University of Edinburgh EH8 9LN, Edinburgh (GB)
2016 (1.9) Tanya Ury presents Personal Affects – Going into the Archive as power point presentation, Thursday, 1st September, at 17:00 – 18.30 hours, „Kamienica Pod Aniolami” conference room, at “Creating Alternatives for Jewish Women in Europe”, the 8th International Bet Debora Conference of European Jewish Women, Activists, Academics and Rabbis (1−4.9. 2016), held by the Bente Kahan Foundation (Wroclaw), Czulent (Kraków) and Bet Debora (Berlin), at the White Stork Synagogue, Wrocław, Poland and the Pod Aniolami hotel and conference space, in Wroclaw/Breslau, European Capital of Culture 2016 (PL)
2017 (15. – 17.9) Tanya Ury presents a power point presentation of Personal Affects – Going into the Archive (short version of the paper), 15:40 – 16:55 pm, 17th September, room 4, Manchester Museum, at the Tenth International Conference on The Inclusive Museum, University of Manchester (GB)
2018 (14. – 16.1.) Tanya Ury presents a video documentation of her performance concert archive burn out, filmed and edited by Freya Hattenberger on 10th April 2014 in the Nazi Documentation Centre, Cologne, with “Suspended Beliefs”: poetry, text and improvised music: Tanya Ury (voice), Gernot Bogumil (trumpet), Kasander Nilist (double bass), Hans Salz (percussion), after a power point presentation of Ury’s article Personal Affects – Going into the Archive (short version), 11.20−12.40 pm on 16th January, at The Future of the Archive, Performing the Jewish Archive and Beyond, British Library, London (GB)
2018 (11. – 12.4.) Tanya Ury presents Personal Affects – Going into the Archive (short version), a power point presentation and a short version of the Video-Performance Fury (2009), on 13th April (seminar 10 – 5pm) as keynote speaker at “To Be Archived”, the Living Archives final event, curated by Temi Odumoso of Malmö University, at Malmö Konstmuseum, Malmöhusvägen 6, Malmö (SE) livingarchives.mah.se/…
Artist’s Writings & Publications
2018 (spring) Personal Affects – Going into the Archive (short paper) with images — still from Fury, video-performance 2009 and photo (Tanya Ury) 2009 of voluntary workers undertaking first aid in restoring damaged documents, in the temporary storage spaces of The Historical Archive of the City of Cologne at Porz, after the Archive buildings had collapsed — published (in English) in the Bet Debora Journal IV, Hentrich & Hentrich Verlag Berlin (D)