Romantic Savage

Stephen Foster

1994, 15:00 minutes, colour


Originally an installation, this tape has been modified for single monitor viewing.

Romantic Savage
uses the footage from E.S. Curtis' In the Land of the Head Hunters (claimed by some ethnographers to be an early Curtis documentary) as presented in a documentary narrated by Donald Sutherland. This narration is interfered with and substituted with the artist's own family stories. Romantic Savage creates an interesting juxtaposition between scientific aestheticization of non-european culture and the romanticization of personal histories. The three texts (Donald Sutherland's narration, the historical analysis of the artist's family and the romantic tale by the artist's aunt) weave together through various levels of mediation to arrive at a convergence between fact and fiction.

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