Pandas vs. Skunks: A Civil War Story is the result of a month-long collaborative effort between artists-in-residence Zehra Khan & Tim Winn and the students at the Cape Cod Community College, Feb 2012.
In two weeks, starting from scratch, Zehra and Tim set out to build a site-specific installation chronicling the reenactment of a civil war battle between Pandas and Skunks. The resulting installation is comprised of the elements used to produce photographs and a short film during their residency.
Spectators heckle and cheer while the concession stand makes a killing. Reenactors have long ago buried the hatchet, and come together to don the uniforms of their forefathers. The Panda-Skunk Civil War Museum located at the rear of the gallery is full of the artifacts from this historic conflict.
Working within the parameters of a battle reenactment and using the American Civil War as an aesthetic and technological reference point, students contributed drawings, sculptures, performances, music, and their time.
Using animal protagonists as stand-ins for human behavior, our art creates both narratives and fables. In Pandas vs. Skunks, we address a seemingly unnecessary conflict between like animals, the notion of history and forgiveness, and modern day consumerism and spectacle. While we used the American Civil War as a reference point, the piece is not about that conflict, but about war in general and the way we recount our memories, stories and legends.