As we move our ‘stuff’ moves with us, and even after we’re gone it keeps moving. This is the great migration of things as they shift from room to room, house to house, from one family member to another, to a storage box, a second hand shop and finally an auction house or a flea market. ‘Things’ used to migrate locally, but globalisation, consumerism and the internet have greatly extended their migratory patterns. And along with the decline of the flea market, chance encounters with objects and their memories are disappearing.
In this collaboration between Erik Kessels and Thomas Mailaender, the two are hitting the road in an ‘Archive on Wheels’. They’re on a mission to recreate a collective memory of Europe by assembling images and objects collected at flea markets across the continent.
The Europe Archive project centres around a shipping container that’s been transformed into a climate controlled storage unit complete with shelves. The archive will be transported across Europe by a golden truck accompanied by Erik Kessels and Thomas Mailaender. While on the road, the pair will hunt for new objects to add to the existing Europa Collection. At the end of its journey the truck will finally arrive at museums, where the public are invited to discover the collection gathered by the two artists alongside their trip in Europe.
The first stop of the EUROPE ARCHIVE exhibition will take place in the framework of European Capital of Culture 2023: Veszprém-Balaton, Hungary. The Europe Archive project will have its initial presentation at the Dubniczay Palace/ House of Arts in Veszprém. The exhibition is scheduled from June 22 to August 27, 2023.