Artist’s Statement (FAQ)
What is The Forgotten History of Staten Island?
The Forgotten History of Staten Island, was (and is) a multi-disciplinary celebration of real (and imagined) historical events told through the eyes of the mythical, Dr. D. I. Kniebocker (Staten Island’s self-described “greatest historian”). It debuted in October of 2011, with a performance at the Snug harbor Cultural Center (A Smithsonian affiliate institution) on Staten Island. Onsite installations were maintained on the streets of Staten Island, from that point, until the end of the year, 2011. There was an additional chapter (Alice Austen) that was introduced at The Wonderland at Show at the Staten Island Museum – Dec 10, 2011. It continues to live on in this website. And there may be some future installations in the physical world.
It is the sole creation of artist Ed (Edward) Weiss. It was funded in part by an Original Work Grant form the New York State Council of the Arts, (Administered by Staten Island Arts). If you would like to out more about the artist click here.
What isn’t The Forgotten History of Staten Island?
The Forgotten History of Staten Island is not a piece of alternative history (otherwise known as alt history), counterfactual history (otherwise known as counter-history or virtual history), or a hoax designed to mislead people about the history of Staten Island.
What is the Point of The Forgotten History of Staten Island?
The point is that history is malleable, unreliable and should be read as such. “Fact” and fiction are interwoven in the The Forgotten History in the hopes that it will provide the viewer with an approach to reading history and sorting out what is fact and fiction that can also be applied to so-called “real” history, which is in reality also a mixture of fact and fiction.
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