THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHUPACABRA
(Fort Worth, Texas, USA)
This farcical project will study the effect intentional false information has on the public understanding of ancient history and historical timelines. I will analyze how captivating, abbreviated claims aimed at receiving massive responses alter the facts and manipulate historical context in order to achieve mass appeal. What is the scale of intentional misinformation? And to what extent does this affect traditional avenues for public learning such as museum exhibitions/publications and continued archaeological research?
By mimicking and parodying the most successful manipulation techniques revealed to be at use, I create and discover my own super-mythic all-encompassing ancient history through a unique series of archaeological ‘discoveries’. All in an effort to demonstrate how easily we can be fooled and to encourage more proactive fact checking and engaged historical research. The challenge is to find an effective way to address this issue without contributing to it. Humor through satire has long been seen as an effective method for confronting and highlighting controversial issues, and I implement this through the absurdity of my work.
The Discovery of the Chupacabra blends folklore from my Texas homeland with Russian pop culture character Cheburashka to create a hybrid mythology, playfully linking the two places. The Chupacabra has long been an important part of Texas/American folklore. It is described as a monstrous nocturnal creature that sucks the blood of animals, primarily goats. It is the similarity of names between a mythical beast and a cute beloved character that led to my preposterous chimerical creature. Posing as an archaeologist I exhume the skeletal remains of this beast, teasing at the future excavation I will conduct with the community during the Art Prospect Festival in 2021.
Joshua Goode chairs the Department of Fine Arts at Tarrant County College South in Fort Worth, TX. His artistic practice centers on creating an alternate history and mythology to preserve memories of childhood and to deal with traumatic family issues. Goode created the fictitious Aurora – Rhoman civilization inspired by the achievements of major historical figures. Having studied history and worked as an archaeologist on many actual excavations, Goode conducts staged excavations around the world, working with the community as a performance. His constructed artifacts of the invented civilization mix fact and fiction to appropriate and distort the history and myths of each region he engages. The actual and fake objects “found” during these digs have been exhibited in Spain, Germany, Russia, Croatia, Egypt, Italy, China, Belgium, England and the US, among others.