Soft Cover, English, Thread Stitching, 64 Pages, 2005
Godville is a two-channel video edited from interviews with several eighteenth-century character interpreters in Colonial Williamsburg, a living-history museum in Virginia. The museum is actually part of the historical town it recreates, occupying and preserving the town’s buildings and grounds, while training and paying its residents to act out colonial American life.
The ten persons originally interviewed represent a cross-section of Williamsburg's resident actors: men and women of different social standing and origin; democrats and republicans; property holders and day laborers; militia members and housewives; part-time revolutionaries and slaves. All sat down to be interviewed in their work areas and costumes, usually eighteenth-century interiors and period garments.
The interviews began in the past and in-character but deliberately jumped to the present and real life - sometimes making it hard to keep track of which of the interviewees' multiple personalities was talking or which century was being discussed. By further cutting, pasting and remixing the interviews, a new narrative emerges whose temporal markers are blurred and where the two biographies of each speaker are blended into a single rambling whole. Godville tells the story of a town whose residents are unmoored and floating somewhere in America, between the past and the present, between reenactment, fiction and life.