Slought, the History of Art and the English Department at the University of Pennsylvania are pleased to announce a special screening of William Pope.L'sReenactor (2010-) from December 9-11, 2014. The film will be screened continuously for 72 hours at Slought on Tuesday, December 9, beginning at 9am. A public conversation with the artist and art historian Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw on December 8, 2014 at 6:30pm will inaugurate the screening.
Filmed in Nashville, Reenactor shows volunteers - many of them students from Tennessee State University where the film debuted - donning Robert E. Lee confederate soldier uniforms or what the artist describes as "the most visible and onerous costumes of our historical past." Pope.L followed the "swarm" of reenactors as they wandered around Nashville performing quotidian activities, such as sweeping floors and caring for children. Through this intervention, the violent history of the South seeps into the fabric of everyday life, haunting this city with its most disquieting legacies. Pope.L's film alternates between different modes of filmmaking and performance, including documentary-style footage, a surreal puppet show, and Civil War reenactments in Pennsylvania.
Like many of the works in the Itinerant Belongings exhibition, the film eschews a fixed diegesis and unitary temporality. This logic extends to Reenactor's extensive duration in the gallery space. Viewers are invited to defy the conventions of traditional spectatorship and absorb the experience of the film into the rhythms of their everyday by resting on couches and beanbag chairs, drinking and eating, and even sleeping at any hour.