RFK in EKY The Robert F. Kennedy Performance Project: Recreating Robert Kennedy's two-day, 200 mile
The RFK in EKY Library

Artist Statement | Final Notes | Photos | First Person Accounts | News Articles | Documentation | Community | Links

The RFK in EKY Library

In 2002, in an early piece of writing about the thinking behind RFK in EKY, John Malpede said: “The recreation of Kennedy’s investigative tour will be a spectacle about spectacle. The project has great allure because it weds the element of spectacle with substantive concerns. [RFK in EKY] allows me to pursue, what I call, a ‘mirroring strategy,’ for producing community based work. Mirroring strategy: a historical event is presented, with scrupulous attention to detail.”

John’s “scrupulous attention” in constructing RFK in EKY led him to scour archives and libraries, read dozens of news accounts and speeches, and interview over a hundred individuals. The project was pieced together from the transcripts, Kennedy’s aides’ notes and recollections, contemporary speeches, and the memories of dozens of people who saw Kennedy, or testified, or were in the car with him during his tour.

Much of the original documentation of the tour has been destroyed – fires at a local radio station and newspaper wiped out archives from the period. Local film was lost, photos misplaced. For several of Kennedy’s informal stops no witness could be found.

Needless to say, the process of reconstructing history made all of us think long and hard about documentation. We determined to follow the forms of evidence we found for 1968 – texts, journalist accounts, photos, film, and first-person narratives. Our goal was to be as thorough as possible, our joke that whoever recreated the recreation in 36 years would have, unlike us, everything they needed, a complete RFK in EKY kit.

The RFK in EKY Library is an edited, focused version of what we’ve collected. It is not the complete archive of material – we’ve left out minutes from the six months of weekly production meetings for instance – and scripts, transcripts, photos, and production documentation of the performance are all presented in The Project section of the website. The Library focuses on different forms of text that informed or were informed by the project – representing multiple viewpoints and creating multiple points of access. The Library provides an opportunity to explore more deeply the ideas within RFK in EKY through the following categories:

Documentation - News stories, articles, first-person accounts, and media presentations about the project. (Media presentations coming soon)

Memorabilia and Commemoration – Artifacts and memories from RFK’s visit; recreated objects and commemorative items from the performance.

Assessment Studies – Looking at the impact of the project.

Project Archive – Interviews, background documents, and material related to the project. (coming soon)

Links – For further study of the issues, art, and ideas in the project.

Documentation

News Stories and Articles

First Person Accounts

Media (coming soon)

Memorabilia & Commemoration (coming soon)

The Memorabilia Slideshow (coming soon)

Apocryphal Memories/ Recreated Objects/ Commemoration (coming soon)

Childrens’ stories (coming soon)

Assessment Studies

Mat Schwarzman’s Initial Assessment Plan

Project Archive (coming soon)

Research Interviews (coming soon)

Background Documents (coming soon)

Related Materials (coming soon)

Links