Toned gelatin silver print
Image: 15.1 x 20 cm (5 15/16 x 7 7/8 in.); Paper: 20.2 x 25.1 cm (7 15/16 x 9 7/8 in.)
Gift of George Stephanopoulos 2012.340
© Patrick Nagatani
This scene is part of a saga of archaeological exploration imagined and brought to life by Nagatani. Traveling the globe between 1985 and 2000, a Japanese scientist named Ryoichi (the artist’s alter ego) led a team of scientists and archaeologists to document 13 of 30 archaeological sites, each of which contains a remarkably well-preserved, low-mileage automobile that must have been buried there centuries earlier. Photographs, stills from video documentation,artifacts,and pages from Ryoichi’s journal serve as scientific “proof ” that time may not be linear. “If fiction has given more to us than fact, then this is the greatest truth,” writes Ryoichi/ Nagatani at the final site.
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