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AVA Archive
Research 1 July 2019–31 March 2023
Process: Unpacking ephemera from the Second Johannesburg Biennale, South African National Gallery, Cape Town, 1997. Image courtesy of A4 Arts Foundation.
Title AVA Archive Dates 1 July 2019–31 March 2023 Location Ground Floor Tagline A4 supports the AVA in building digital access to its archive. Credits

AVA team:
Mirjam Asmal
Sam Wroth Rietmann
Faith Mandebvu

From the AVA's origins within the African Fine Arts Society, to the South African Association of Arts, their archive traces the history of the organisation.

A4 offers support to this initiative by facilitating the development of a technical strategy, the provision of a venue, and hardware. This collaboration offers A4 an opportunity to reflect on its own archival processes.

Scrummaging through the myriad pieces collected over the institution's 170-year history, the archive includes an array of traces, from the seemingly banal to celebrity: till-sips for a number of sausage rolls, rejection letters from the 1990s for a (so named in that era) women’s magazine, handwritten artists’ notes alongside remnants of the exhibitions that have shown at the AVA.

In attending to these fragments with careful attention and time, the AVA’s archive has been reimagined as a resource towards future research.