12 August 2015

White Dude Fishing

 The next print in my Almanack series begins with this carving of a man fishing. The image comes from a book by Thomas Dilworth called A New Guide to the English Tongue, published in Philadelphia in 1770. It's a grammar and reading textbook and this picture, which I'm cropping and reproducing at a scale of about 500%, was used to illustrate a fable called "The Fisherman and the Fish" in which a captured fish asks to be released, promising that she (yep, the fish is female) will come back and allow herself to be caught when she's grown larger. The fisherman says no, and the moral of the fable is "Never let go a Certainty for an Uncertainty." I'm sure this is good advice for someone, but not for an artist.

I will be pairing this image with another quote from The New Book of Knowledge (1767):
The Horizon is a Circle that divideth the Part of the World seen from the Part that cannot be seen.
 As you may notice about these colonial era images I'm working with (it's impossible to not notice, really), almost all of the images feature white males. This isn't surprising given the context, but it makes working with the images take a certain direction. Although it wasn't my intention as I began these prints, whiteness has become one of the themes in this project.

No comments: