"The understanding of a culture comes from hearing the language, tasting the food, seeing personal interactions, experiencing the traditions, and so much more when it is in context."
— Elizabeth Laval & Candice Pendergrass, Sikh Youth Public History Project
Salon de Physique & Relict: A Phantasmagoria
Saturday, July 22, 2023 | 8 pm PT
Cost: $10 (no one turned away due to lack of funds)
Address: 225 E Redwood Avenue, Fort Bragg 95437
Supported by a 2023 California Humanities For All Project Grant, The Larry Spring Museum kicks off their project Redwood Time with artist Melissa Ferrari. In residency at the Larry Spring Museum, Ferrari will create a site-specific adaptation of a Phantasmagoria Salon de Physique (or “Physics Parlor”) that will feature an evening of animation experiments, installation work, and a magic lantern expanded cinema performance at the Larry Spring Museum. This Salon de Physique will be a series of experiments – an animated cabinet of curiosities and magic lantern projections – prioritizing expositions of the preternatural in the local environment. Rooted in the curatorial philosophy of Redwood Time, the animations will seek local rhythms and ecologies that fall outside of conventional systems of value, time, and scale. Historically, the intent of the Salon de Physique was to magnify the space between the natural world and the supernatural through the wonder of science spectacle, shaking the participants’ foundations in what is “real” and “rational” in a playground for Natural Philosophy.
Melissa Ferrari is a nonfiction filmmaker, experimental animator, magic lanternist and educator who seeks to acquaint folklores of the past with contemporary culture. In exposing peripheral histories, she aims to unveil the wonder that lies in the shadow of nonfiction, rather than fiction. Originally from Virginia, Melissa is now based in Los Angeles where she received an Experimental Animation M.F.A. from CalArts. Her films and magic lantern performances have been shown internationally in venues such as Hot Docs, Ottawa International Animation Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, and Hauser & Wirth LA.
About Redwood Time:
Redwood Time is a multi-disciplinary project that encourages us to re-evaluate the dominant narratives of settlement and resource development along the northern Californian coast. Through creative exploration and reflection, we will produce a collaborative account of Fort Bragg that reflects formerly excluded local histories and worldviews, providing us with a richer understanding of the past we inherit and the territory we inhabit.
The central object of our reflection is a timeline affixed to the commemorative redwood round that has dominated our downtown center since its dedication in 1943. As with similar redwood rounds, Fort Bragg’s public memorial and timeline privileges linear time as the driver of history and naturalizes far-flung Euro- and human-centric events as the default approach to understanding our past and presence here in Fort Bragg.
Over the next two years, “Redwood Time” will unfold as a focused series of live performances, public art installations, and community gatherings designed to generate new understandings of our relationship to our shared geography. Together we will create an empathic and nuanced counter-narrative that will draw into question our inherited notions of individuality. Our activities will culminate in the creation of reimagined versions of the round and a new legend that reveals our messy and vital connectedness.
This project is supported by a Humanities for All Project Grant.