Re-enactment (war of independence), 1999-2000
These photographs depict adult siblings wrestling on Revolutionary War battlefields. Pairs of siblings were brought to these sites and asked to wrestle as they remember fighting (or wanting to) in childhood. In a personal twist on military recreations, these images deploy the landscape of historical struggle to re-enact the formative battles that haunt our adult lives.
The American Revolution represented, in part, a power struggle between two closely related entities. It was a war in which the younger sibling sought to wrest an independent identity from under the tyrannical control of the elder. This series plays out the childhood residue of sibling intimacy and competition on the sites of this country’s founding fraternal struggle. By blending a photographic aesthetic of captured action with the classical vocabulary of history painting, these images invite both symbolic and documentary readings, while providing neither. Collectively, these images describe the ambiguous blend of cruelty, eroticism and play that so often underlies the power and difficulty of sibling relations.
Chromogenic color prints, 27.5″ x 40″.