Toned gelatin silver print
Image: 15.2 x 20 cm (6 x 7 7/8 in.); Paper: 20.2 x 25.1 cm (7 15/16 x 9 7/8 in.)
Gift of George Stephanopoulos 2012.346
© Patrick Nagatani
Which is more useful to humanity: fact or myth, science or faith? This question is central to the saga imagined and brought to life by Nagatani of the archeological explorations led by the artist’s alter ego, Japanese scientist Ryoichi. Traveling the globe between 1985 and 2000, Ryoichi’s team locates and documents 13 of 30 archeological 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 in his journal at the thirteenth and final site.
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