Place and Time
Front Room Gallery is pleased to present Edie Winograde's new solo exhibition, Place and
Time: Reenactment Pageant Photographs. In this ongoing series Winograde has 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's photographs tap into an American cultural memory, a visual memory created not so much through historical study but by television, movies and Western paintings. Place and Time creates a portrait of the present-day phenomenon of the reenactments as well as an impression of historical and legendary events, blurring the boundaries between now and then, history and imagination.
She does not stage these photographs herself. 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 and 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 reproduce 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.