by Matt Shelton
volume 5
Matt Shelton, Untitled (fabel), 2020-2021. Animated GIFs transferred to digital video, 6 min. 13 sec. Text and images are sourced from Gone with the Wind (1939), including the June 2020 insertion of a qualifying statement before the opening credits: “This picture is presented as it was originally created.”

This picture is created. as it originally was presented


We finished plowing the creek bottom today.


land is the only thing in the world

that will hurt you

[Bell clanging]


Only just me and Pork left.

He’s the best overseer in the county.


[Dogs barking]

and we understand each other—


There’s none in the county can touch you—

but I just can’t bear

that you’re half-Irish, too.



Have you been making a spectacle of yourself

waitin’ on poor white trash.

Barkin’ in the house like that.

going around in black.


Why should I have to 

Take the lamp


I can’t think of anything

you can do without a reputation.

You, uh, had broken something.

that I lack.


And don’t you be forgettin’, Missy

[Dixie plays]

for all of us.

Isn’t it thrilling?

The cause of living in the past



Oh, can’t we go away and forget 

All these poor, tragic people.

Look at them.

dying right in front of us.

[Wild cheering and applause]

the war makes the most peculiar widows

[Women gasping]

You’ll hate me for hearing them

I get so bored I could scream.

[Waltz plays]

Why, the land they live on is like their mother

[Woman screaming]

Wearin’ herself out


Artist, writer, and teacher Matt Shelton received his MFA in Painting and Printmaking from VCUarts in 2012. His photographic series The Revenant was published in the fall 2013 issue of the journal Southern Cultures, titled Remembering the Civil War. His prints, videos, and sculptural works have been exhibited in solo or collaborative presentations at Mary Baldwin University, Staunton, VA; Atlantis Gallery, Richmond, VA; Alice Yard, Port of Spain, Trinidad; Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville; and an upcoming project at Massey University in Wellington, NZ, with frequent collaborator Nikolai Noel for the exhibition Flat Earthers curated by Raewyn Martyn and John Lake. His critical writing has appeared in LOOKsee, Richmond Arts Review, Ext.1708, and Art Papers. Recently he collaborated with artist Lisi Raskin as the script editor and conceptual advisor for (Some of) The Mechanics of Critique, an animated teaching tool about the role gender and race-based bias play in the studio art critique, published in Hyperallergic in the summer of 2019. He lives with his family outside Charlottesville, VA.