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The Empty Stage

The Empty Stage

A Story About the Past by Matthew Buckingham

(p.103) Four The Empty Stage
Becoming Past
Jane Blocker
University of Minnesota Press

This chapter contemplates artist Matthew Buckingham’s 1996 film Amos Fortune Road, which focuses on the relation between factual and fictional representations of the past by looking at the archival record of the life of Amos Fortune, an African slave who died in 1801. It argues that Buckingham hollows out Fortune’s 18th century history and fills it with parallel events from the present. He usefully subjects history to doubt, and lines up two historical narratives in the same space.

Keywords:   Matthew Buckingham, Amos Fortune Road, representation, past, Amos Fortune, African slave, present, history, historical narratives

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