Visual enquiries and idiosyncratic selections : a close reading of dust
Thesis MA(VA)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In the thesis, Visual Enquiries and Idiosyncratic Selections: A Close Reading of Dust, dust from the Ben Segal collection is investigated in order to explore what it may reveal about the idea and structure of the archive. This is achieved by looking at the physical and metaphorical manifestation of dust in the Ben Segal collection. The primary concern is the relationship between visibility and invisibility within the archive as it is linked to notions of ‘dust.’ The secondary focus will be to explore the attribution of significance and insignificance to dust within archival practices, in particular the Ben Segal collection from the Hidden Years Music Archive. The Ben Segal collection, held at the Documentation Centre for Music at Stellenbosch University since 2013, forms part of the Hidden Music Years Archive. Since the late 1950s Ben Segal avidly collected material that fascinated him and, during his lifetime, the collection grew to include significant items related to South African folk music. With this history of collecting forming the background to my own enquiry, the methodological basis of this thesis is a close reading of the dust that can be found within Ben Segal’s collection. Such a process of close reading draws on both a poststructuralist framework, as well as modes of (scientific) visual analysis, as a means to investigate the meaning and function of dust in the Ben Segal archive.
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