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The Island of Lost Returns

  • Author(s): Boatright, Benjamin David
  • Advisor(s): Majoli, Monica
  • et al.
Abstract

The Island of Lost Returns is an intermedia performance and installation work that addresses the social and psychological effects of financial crises as told through the fall of The Buccaneer, a beachside resort on Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia. The piece has an autobiographical basis, as the motel was in part built and run by my grandfather until his death in 1980, after which my father became increasingly involved with the business. By 2001, the motel company had failed, leaving my father bankrupt.

The piece is comprised of live performance, music, video, and a host of performance objects, sculptures, and paintings. It functions on equal grounds as a performance and as an installation. There is a large hut, which is a replica of The Jekyll Island Club Hotel, originally run by the wealthy business elite of the Gilded Age and site of the creation of the Aldrich Plan, what would later become the Federal Reserve. The hut's presence and fort-like appearance dominate a large portion of the space. It takes on the symbolism of capital gain and power, an imaginary fortress that forms the background of the environment against the tale of the failed family motel.

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