[Columbia, SC | August 19, 2017, 6pm – 12am | Free!]
Tapp’s Arts Center is pleased to announce our participation in Columbia’s Total Solar Eclipse festivities! Join us August 19th for The Final Journey of Christopher Columbia: Another ECLIPSEploitation Event. From 6pm to 12am, Tapp’s will host a free carnival commemorating the wildly problematic exploits of an historic hustler. From puppet shows to belly dancing, to an indie rock immersive celestial concert, Tapp’s will be transformed into a spectacular experience loosely generated around the core story of Christopher Columbus, a shipwreck, and the use of an eclipse to machinate advantage.
Merging the story of Christopher Columbus’s fourth and final journey to the new world, the origin story of the name Columbia, and our current celestial celebration, Tapp’s has curated an evening of entertainment and reflection on the multifaceted social and political history of Columbia, SC.
A brief history (because we realize some of you are thinking…what?…):
Christopher Columbus chartered a fourth exploratory journey to the new world in 1502, however, due to a shipworm infestation, was shipwrecked on the shore of Jamaica. He and his surviving crew were marooned for over one year and the native Arawak community grew tired of their dependence on their food and supplies and cut them off. Columbus, referencing his celestial almanac, knew of a coming lunar eclipse and threatened the leader of the local community that if they refused him support, his god would take the moon away from them. The eclipse came right on schedule, frightened the native community and Columbus and his men were given all the supplies needed to return to Spain.
The name Columbia:
Alluding to Christopher Columbus, ‘Columbia’ was adopted as a satirical code name for reference to the ‘new world’ in parliamentary criticism in Britain (as journalistic accounts of parliamentary affairs was illegal at the time). Though considered tongue in cheek, Columbia was adopted as a romantic personification of the colonies, which is still used today (reference: District of Columbia, Columbia University, Lady Columbia, and Columbia Pictures!). Though history proved that it would not become the official name of the new world, the name Columbia proliferated throughout other important facets of our nation.
And now, you get where we’re going!:
So, with Columbus’s exploitation of an eclipse, the exploitation of Columbus’s name for use in rogue British parliamentary criticism, and the defiant colonies adopting the exploitative name as an official representation of the colonies, the Tapp’s team (with concept by Shigeharu Kobayashi), felt this amazing narrative needed to be…exploited!
Thanks to Historic Columbia for getting us started on our research!!
Tapp’s Arts Center is giant artistic laboratory for community engagement. We encourage artistic agency through exhibitions, cultural events, workshops, classes, and studios to help Columbia create, learn and grow.