The Heart of the Park works to expose, preserve, and interpret the many layers of social history, fact, and fiction within Iowa City's City Park. This exhibition is a result of archival research, interviews, and on-site investigation. As a guide, I followed the path of Enoch Emery, a park-haunting voyeur featured in Flannery O'Connor's first novel, Wise Blood, which she wrote after graduating from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Details of O'Connor's fictional version of City Park, in Chapter 5 of Wise Blood, as well as Enoch's relationship with the park, led to further discoveries regarding the park's history, and ultimately, a reinterpretation of these seemingly disparate layers of fact and fiction.
While the contemporary archive claims depoliticized and anonymous reasons and methods for preservation, my hybrid practice creates a role for the subjective, idiosyncratic archivist, who suffuses factual research with myth-making. The Heart of the Park is one glimpse into an ongoing collection of interpreted sites, in which I attempt to prevent the loss of local histories, and enact the inevitable chain of reinterpretations of site.
|Commitee:||Jung, Anita, Snitzer, James, Winet, Jon|
|School:||The University of Iowa|
|School Location:||United States -- Iowa|
|Source:||MAI 51/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||American studies, American history, Fine arts|
|Keywords:||Archival, Landscape, Mythology, Place-making, Site-specific, Voyeurism|
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