‘Reconstructed’ project

In this series of images I looked at how the museum removes things from context, but how also it can apply a subjective view of history. General thought is that ‘history favours the victor’ – but geography, local culture and fashion will impact on how history is presented at any given time – with objects often used to provide the ‘proof’ of a particular concept.

The battle reconstruction (or re-enactment) has, for several years given a chance for people to take part in creating an approximately accurate re-run of the events of a decisive military event – and thereby sidestepping the museum and text book’s roles as ‘authentic histories’. The Shireoak Photography collective have attended and photographically recorded such events throughout the north of England – covering a number of eras – from pike men of medieval times to the more modern warfare of the Second World War.

This series of images took the photographs taken by Shireoak as it’s starting point and places these fake histories into a gallery environment escorted through the process by the gallery attendant – himself a member of the collective who created the images. What is left to the viewer now is to make a decision – is this art, is it entertainment , is it a record of an event – and if so, is it contemporary or historic? And what is the real historical truth?

Originally produced for the Artist’s Book Collective project ‘The Imaginary Museum’ – that was itself created as part of PAGES | Leeds International Artists Book Fair 

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