Monday, January 24, 2011

Kissing the Gunner's Daughter

All photos by Tom Pearson
Below is a photo slideshow from the installation (Flickr), followed by an excerpt of the film component within the installation:

"If you want to get your weird installation on, time is ticking... we're calling this one out as can't miss." – New York Press
Full project page at:
Kissing the Gunner's Daughter (2010), by Tom Pearson, is an interactive art installation that features fragments from a ship's interior, a captain's log of its travels, and the true tale of a man from Michigan who traded his home for a replica of the Santa Maria. The work simultaneously conveys the story of "The Santa Marias," a traveling band of Cherokee vaudevillians who find themselves immersed in the burgeoning roadside attraction performance culture of Florida in the Forties.Kissing the Gunner's Daughter was originally presented as part of The Drifting Encyclopedia in the Courtyard Gallery at the World Financial Center by Arts World Financial Center, and then subsequently as a larger installation (or outpost of The Drifitng Encyclopedia) at Dance New Amsterdam (DNA). At DNA, the exhibition was presented in conjunction with performances of Walking In Two, by Tom Pearson and Donna Ahmadi and enjoyed a run from September 9 through November 15, 2010 as the inaugural presentation of DNA’s Heritage Series Contemporary First Nation.
The film above is culled from family reels, specifically located in and around St. Augustine, Florida in the late 1950's and early 1960's. The film was encased underneath sand and oyster shells inside a bench/trunk within the installation. The bench/trunk lid also featured a collage of images from Florida roadside attraction culture. The above excerpt is five minutes of a 20-minute reel.
DNA's presentation of Kissing the Gunner's Daughter was funded, in part, by a grant from New York State Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick through the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. The creation of Kissing the Gunner's Daughter, as part of The Drifting Encyclopedia, was originally presented by Arts World Financial Center and made possible, in part, by the River To River Festival. Additional support for the work came from Materials for the Arts/New York City Department of Cultural Affairs/Department of Sanitation, The Lucky Star Foundation, and by Third Rail Projects with support from individual and institutional donors.DNA’s Heritage Series Contemporary First Nation was made possible with support from American Express.

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