Jill R. Baker
History, Genealogy and Geography all seem to be about naming—naming, taking names, forsaking names, laying claim, namesaking. In the 1950’s, Katherine Eikenberry was left out of a book documenting the genealogy of the Eikenberry surname.
Centered on the impossibility of a feminist genealogy, or the tracing of maternal surnames, An Impossible Genealogy is a documentary project that explores how the traditional archives of genealogies and histories begin to fall apart when one attempts to re-connect and re-tell. Instead, opportunities for critical activity and performance emerge within those gaps.
Memories of a 1940’s childhood. Written histories and settler’s narratives. The landscape of Southeastern Kansas. Westward expansion. Little House on the Prairie. Illegal settlement. Indian Removal and the Osage Lands. Impossible Genealogies moves in and out of these histories and narratives, emphasizing the ways in which differing and contradictory accounts, written records and memories inform geographies, landscapes, maps, territories and genealogies.