AMBER GINSBURG

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Past Times: Remembering, Remapping, Recovering
A site generated investigation for the sesquicentennial of Illinois State University.

With Katie Hargrave

Each day guided walking tours led by artists, historians, and actors emphasize a particular historical narrative.  Viewmasters provide an interactive look at dual time periods in a single image.

Provenance (Accepting the imbalance of preparation) addresses the founding of Illinois State Normal University in 1857, when the Civil War loomed and an economic bust threatened the completion of the University. While 47 students enrolled, only 10 graduated. By pointing to those who completed the three year certificate program, we look to the history of gender politics in education and the workforce across this institution's history. Disproportionately, more women attended, while more men graduated. Jobs could be sought after as little as a semester of coursework, and as such, women left. Displaying the diplomas on the backs of the ten graduates allude to histories of imbalance and uncertainty.

Sediment (Trolley, archery, tennis, football) creates a contact zone between all past iterations of the south quad of ISNU. A single abstraction evokes the trolley cars, archery bows, tennis courts, and the football field. Moist clay completely covering the Gallery floor allows visitors to leave their own imprint on the space.

Eighty archival images projected on a blank plate provide the sole light source for the installation entitled Commemoration (Ephemeral representatives).  As images of past events flash by, viewers are invited to sit in one of five chairs and listen to audio recordings of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person narratives of local history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PAST TIMES

 

©Amber Ginsburg 2008-2015
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