‘The Interpreter Project’, 2001
Four-channel video installation
60 mins each video, total running time 240 mins.
Edition of 3 + 1 AP
At many historic sites in the United States, tour guides are officially called “historical interpreters.” Their quasi-educational role is to translate the site for the visitor. Each tour guide creates their own tour based on an accepted body of knowledge, individual research and anecdotes culled from other tours they witnessed. In ‘The Interpreter Project’, Sharon Hayes “re-interprets” actual tours through the historic houses of Clara Barton, Mary McLeod Bethune, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Maggie Walker. By pulling these texts out of the grounded context of their individual sites and re-speaking them from a recorded script which she listens to on a set of headphones, the project points to the specificity and particularity of the construction of a “feminized” historical narrative.