Project info

Still Lives

Born of ill-informed misconceptions of the motives behind reenactments of the American Civil War during the 150th anniversary, personal interests developed in the mentality of the weekend actors who caravan a web of routes to re-perform the actions of war on surrogate battlefields. My initial contact with a re-enactor involved driving through woods on a golf cart, while the driver wept and recounted the stories of all his ancestors killed or wounded in conflicts dating to the Civil War. I have since learned that the motivations compelling re-enactors are incalculably convoluted, but generally involve preservation of history and appropriate honor for the fallen.

Deeper curiosity and exploration began after hearing a specific re-enactor’s statement, "I don't die anymore," due to his years of service in the community. The idea of controlling one's death, choosing when and where to perform and re-perform one's demise, is a fascinating study in psychology and consciousness. These portraits provide a sense of the diversity of actors existing in this community, many of whom devote their lives to this performance, and strive to immortalize them in a fabricated state of tranquility as they hover above the ground they fight for.