Sunday, September 16, 2012

1812 Themed Zombie Flashmob: History Never Dies!

Well, we all pulled it off. I believe this was the eight of our 'spontaneous moments of culture' for the Cultural Capitals Campaign, and Daniel and Karrie and I, working with Julianna C and Jo P on zombie wrangling and wardrobe/make up respectively, provided wounds, a roadmap and narrative (involving the conversion of an 'American Tourist' into a Canadian zombie at the hands of a decaying General Brock and the legion -- well., ... 35 -- of dreadfuls we had at our disposal). Highlights included the make-up session -- all 3 hours of it -- in the apparently haunted basement of Fulton Fitness in the old Coy building; the zombies in clusters in the fading light of day; the stopped car surrounded on the streets; the surprisingly empty streets that I think will actually read quite well on camera; the zombie's enthusiasm at the sight of their developing woundscapes; the police being repelled by the zombie and fleeing the scene and closing their car windows; and of course the surprisingly anarchic moment when the staged group of taggers and grafitti artists in the alley by Fulton Fitness were raided by the 40 zombies, responded by lighting their spray-paint cans to make impromptu flame throwers, and tempted the zombies into a cage with calypso music before the dreadfuls broke out and chased the now actually somewhat scared taggers and friends back down the alley.

Part of the discourse and thinking around the event was the extent to which this kind of re-enactment of a (granted) heightened charaterization of General Brock and (most likely less immediately recognized) Tecumseh parading in the streets with their wounds would in some fashion potentially comment on the ongoing kinds of performance of military celebration and memorialization occurring in the context of the 1812 celebrations. Were we successful at all in this? Not sure. It will depend in part on the video and the way in which the text on and surrounding that document will serve to frame the viewers experience of it; to help differentiate the piece from a lot of the seamless, smooth, s'pit-polished with a bit of dust' type of clean cut re-enactment occurring locally. I'll post again about this when the video is out...

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