Megan Michalak

Inspired by William Burrough's statement, “If you cut into the present, the future leaks out,” Megan Michalak’s work is a public invitation. She asks: if we, the public, held the historical-record hostage, what would the ransom note say? What would get reinserted? Through addressing the performance of historiography in multiple registers of media, her work creates counter-sites where citizens can perform and contest histories of cultural and community memory. Her practice transposes cinematic/ documentary methodologies to analogue-media to harvest messages from the public and confront the “unreliable narrator” with yet another story. The resulting traces archive everyday people confronting history; and their attempts to find meaning therein.

Presently, Megan Michalak is completing several multi-year projects. “POSTCARDS TO THE PAST, SIGNPOSTS TO THE FUTURE,” is a photographic oral history archive that examines France’s revolutionary lineage in light of imaginary conversations with Walter Benjamin’s “Angelus Novus.” The film “PRECARIEDADE” investigates the impact of austerity measures on Portuguese culture. Additional projects such as “WORLD X DIAGNOSTICS,” have focused on reconsidering models of capitalist exchange through creating systems that parody flaws within the free market economy. Most recenty the project, “SOVEREIGNTY MODULE,” returns to the question of creating a prototype for generating and redistributing wealth through land use, and the possibility of using such a model to create a public “common/wealth.”