The post-civilization narrative of “The Dreadnaught Saga” is told through a museum-like presentation of historic events, questioning authoritarian constructs of history through images of commemoration. Each display holds everything a knowledge-seeking audience would require to learn about these future historical events – similar to what a tourist might find when visiting a contemporary museum. Instructive wall text situates the environment while informative labels dictate how the allegorical scenes should be understood.
Early visual culture used illustration as a tool to depict both fact and fantasy, asking viewers to understand images with an inherent degree of skepticism – questioning the authenticity of the image’s author. The dreadnaught saga uses this same handmade aesthetic in order to emphasize the ways in which depictions of history can distort the past in order to influence the present.
Enshrining moments of great cultural significance, historical artwork has generally been used as a catalyst to inform social development. From a distance, these works occupy the same space – forming an overall narrative that constructs a virtual memorial for a fictitious future. On closer inspection, the details within the work offer a different perspective – either embracing the larger story, or contradicting the truth that they claim to espouse. The information accompanying the installation is meant to both confirm and deny the larger narrative in order to demonstrate the malleability of truth.
The historical exhibit as a whole begins to read like the pages of a comic book, the walls of the space become the gutters and the text acts as the speech bubbles. These spaces tell a different story altogether, the story of the historian’s intent.