Brandon Tauszik

Pale Blue Dress

Brandon Tauszik . Pale Blue Dress afasia (1)

+ Pale Blue Dress

In the meantime, reenactors continue to answer the call, mustering not only on the hallowed grounds of Gettysburg and Shiloh but also further afield. The photographs in Brandon Tauszik’s body of work were made in northern and central California. A continent removed from the main theaters of war, California is home to half a dozen Civil War reenactment organizations, which between them stage some twenty events per year. Look carefully at the images. Given our fraught political moment, one might expect a more skeptical perspective. Instead, Tauszik renders his subjects as they present themselves, never puncturing the carefully cultivated historical illusion surrounding them. They are generous, even gentle images, devoid of irony or condescension, inviting not ridicule but curiosity about people whose commitments may differ from our own. In this polarized, perilous moment in the history of our democracy, this is an attitude worth cultivating. Societies that lose it sometimes fight civil wars in earnest.
James T. Campbell, Ph.D