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The past is, as it turns out, almost as much of a mystery to us as the future. Recorded history comprises only a narrow collection of perspectives. Moving on, with changing times and the shock of the new, we erode our view of the past. Historians wreak further havoc, leaving only statistics and inferences.
This pattern of forgetting, however, gives us the opportunity to take the past, to not let it freeze in bittersweet nostalgia, and to bring it constantly into the present, to enrich what we already know with what we’ve forgotten.
The Bicentennial, when it was celebrated in 1976, brought with it a wave of interest in the history of the American Revolution. However, for all the commemorations and nostalgia created, a new vision of 1776 appeared, one that was imbued with the counterculture, 2 world wars, industrialization, and population explosion. This new imagined vision of the past was by turns corny, romanticized, flat, psychedelic, oversimplified, or in other words modern.
My project explores this window in time between the ’76s, where time seems to make all the difference in our perception of the country and its history. The tricentennial is a way of imagining the future iterations of the centennial, as it moves further away from the inciting event. Using mixed media, I tell a story of this collision with history.
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duPont, George H., "TRICENTENNIAL" (2014). Senior Projects Spring 2014. 275.