An Obligation to do One-s Best

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dana Smessaert (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:

Abstract: An Obligation to do One's Best is an exploration of myth and reality at home in a small southern town. The artist is calling into question whose history we are referencing when it comes to art, economics, and culture. In these liminal landscapes, the viewer/spectator becomes a collaborator in the mythos of racism in the Southern narrative--the denial of not only its racist past but also the strides of the Civil Rights protests. The research explores the agency of history and cultural capital through a site-specific installation with images, video, sculpture, and sound. Creating a liminal landscape of the American South through physical and metaphysical readings of its trauma, history, and understanding the "...south as a noun that behaves like a verb." The South is entwined with history, politics, economics, and racism, a link that can never be severed, this paper consorts with classic literature, history, cinema, demographics, and philosophy. The American South, the house, the name, and the family's history are complicated and seemingly transparent to those on the outside. However, the stories of those who live here still exist in the space between myth and reality.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020

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