It is sometimes said that the aim of the historian is to explain the past by "finding", "identifying", or "uncovering" stories that lie buried in chronicles; and that the difference between a "history"and "fiction" resides in the fact that the historian "finds" his stories, whereas the fiction writer "invents" his.  Ancient Cinema is a multimedia exhibition that skirts the fine line separating history from fiction.

In Ancient Cinema, Canadian artist Henry Jesionka fabricates an "ancient Roman cinema projector" consistent with the sophisticated technological and artistic skills of Greek and Roman artisans at the turn of the millennium. He also presents archaeological evidence (inscribed coins, lamps, glass slides) to support his "claim". Jesionka creates a "missing link" in the recorded history of cinema to bridge the unacceptably large gap between Paleolithic cave art and the invention of the first modern film projector (in 1867).   Although the installation is entirely fictional, it tackles the very real project of history and its construction.

 

Exhibition Conclusion