The collection is largely built on gifts (works that were made and stayed without being acquired), deposits (forms of lending without being administered as such), copyrights (works that were remade, or stayed without the direct permission of the artist), and works that ‘just stayed’. In some ways, the collection is ‘clandestine’, and some highlights have an unclear or ambiguous status. Following this, Bik Van der Pol ask who owns history. What is memory and what is oblivion? Who creates archives? Who decides? Can word-of-mouth stories be a legitimate part a collection or archive? Is it possible to build communality around a collection of artworks?
The title of the exhibition is inspired by a work of the artist Lawrence Weiner, Far Too Many Things to Fit into so Small a Box, once placed on the façade of the building in the 1990s, which has become the institution’s unofficial motto. In 2014 CCA lost this piece when it was painted over during the last renovation.
The exhibition speaks about what is elusive and transitory and how such qualities relate to the complex mechanisms of remembering and forgetting. Bik Van der Pol aimed to understand the commonality of the archive and how we may include in the collection those stories that have been passed on only by the word of mouth.