How do we orient without naming, how do we hold space without subjugating, how do we become “us”, and be present without otherising, colonising? How do we find presence in absence, and how can we decentralise power and build resistance in image-making and dissemination? These core questions form the inspiration for Shelley Odradek’s Shadow Archive, a repository for images of the in-between. Visitors are invited to upload images of shadows, theirs or otherwise, and to write a short description, with the explicit instruction to not include any personally identifying information (faces, names, locations, etc).
Visitors are also able to view and manipulate images from the archive, which are considered public domain and will also be accessible for viewers to download and use at will. An embodiment of Lacan’s objet petit a (or an unattainable object of desire), the shadow represents a constellation between what is and what is not: presence and absence, an elusive, ungraspable representation of self, object, and architecture. Inspired by the relational notion of power, visibility, personal narrative, translation and orientation, Shadow Archive exists in the space between language, borders, bodies and the worlds in which they coexist.