Author(s): Camiel van Winkel; Joke Robaard
Since the late 1970s, Dutch artist Joke Robaard has accumulated a collection of fashion images--a vast archive of photographs from fashion magazines and other media sources, concentrated on posture, context, background, narrative, image, text and textile. Since 2014, together with art critic Camiel van Winkel, Robaard has been reassembling and rereading her archive to explore the historical, political and social information embedded in these images, and considering how this content emerges in her own artistic and photographic work. Archive Species gathers and rearranges these lines of thought in a richly illustrated publication, featuring some 1,200 images, all part of Robaard's archive. It is a product of collecting and collaborative working, giving insight into an artist's approach to the archive. The book has the quality of a conceptual image bank, reappropriating, renaming and restructuring fashion photographs in order to chart the changing relationships between fashion, photography and mass culture over the past four decades. Archive Species captures shifts in time and visual culture under the influence of historical change and globalization, looking at how the human body is constructed through its clothing and representation.