Eskil Lam travelled for a long time before deciding to dedicate himself to the conservation of the deep roots painted by his father Wifredo.
We met him and his precious collaborator, Dorota Dolega –Ritter, in Paris, in the offices of the archive, near Bastille. Both introduce us to the pragmatics and poetic concepts inspired by the work of Wifredo.
They manage an ongoing and feverish activity consisted essentially in the protection as confirmation of the claim of the same Wifredo Lam: “The first rule of a serious archive is storage” but also in the promotion of a real “work of spreading, encouraging exhibitions, publishing and filming, to make sure that the work of Wifredo Lam remains alive in the memory and spirit of the people”. The archive assures a great number of important tasks and has lived through several evolutionary stages. In the beginning, the archive guided by the mother of Eskil in the early 80’s and then the gradual systematization made by her children with the increasing resources of advanced technology: “A gradual transition bound to specific projects in conjunction with particular exhibitions” who led the archive through a continuous process of professionalization. These are the main aims of a reality that faces the future and its challenges “looking for the best structure to transmit the work done, the authority and the legitimacy assured by the collected material”.
Opened to suggestions coming from the outside world and the requests from collectors, galleries, curators, students and researchers, the Archive constantly operates to pass physical materials into digital, with the conviction that “the direct access to information remains essential”.
The Archive also assures the expertise keeping in mind the peculiarities of the biography of Wifredo Lam, especially with the difficulties of investigations in his native land Cuba: “From the island many fakes are brought back, often supported by fake catalogues, that we register in a chronological order into our archive”. These fakes clash with “the three pillars that guide the authentication process: the moral right, the archives contents and a long analytical work of more than twenty five years, supporting our opinions with documents and research”.
The archive Wifredo Lam in Paris “is constantly monitoring the works evolution, checking auctions, exhibitions and various movements of more than 2000 paintings, drawings and pastels, which are part of an important legacy”. Developing the cross search, as Dorota Dolega-Ritter states “When we create a work file we add information about the occasions in which it has been exposed and the catalogues in which it has been presented creating a continuous update of data that is not possible with the paper catalogues fixed at the date of publication”. The archive grows and evolves, looking straight into the future with the conscience that time is precious. A great exhibition is already scheduled for Autumn 2015 at Centre Pompidou.
Da | www.wifredolam.net
This post is also available in: Italian