The Front Room presents Edie Winograde’s “Place and Time,” now to June 29, and on view Friday-Sunday, 1-6 p.m.
Winograde’s new solo exhibition, “Time: Reenactment Pageant Photographs,” offers photographed reenactments of events in the history of Manifest Destiny and Westward Expansion, presented in their original locales.
These reenactment pageants represent a unique window into the American psyche, combining historical facts, myths, and legends with theatrical devices to entertain and educate the local audiences.
Ritualistic and cathartic in nature, these pageants often have profound significance to the communities that create/recreate them. They contain the specific history of the place filtered through current perceptions of this history, of self, and of others.
Winograde forgoes the grand production of the “directorial style” of photography. Rather than “events” that have been painstakingly orchestrated by a photographer and his/her crew, “Place in Time” contains the full cultural kick of townsfolk who have chosen of their own accord to dress as revolutionary soldiers, Indians, plainsmen, and explorers trotting up hillsides, and firing muskets at each other. Like us, the viewers, Winograde is a spectator.
Winograde confronts particularly American issues of truth and fiction. The absurdity of a citizenry attempting to accurately reproducing these monumental historical events is amplified by the verisimilitude captured in the camera lens. They sure look like photographs of Custer’s actual last stand, and shouldn’t we know, we saw the movie.
The Front Room is at 147 Roebling Street in Brooklyn. For information, call 718-782-2556.
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