Thursday, February 28, 2013

His First Voyage: A Picture Book

by Drew Martin
The nice thing about having my own gallery, even if it is only the size of a closet, and especially because it is a place that nobody would care to visit, is that I can do whatever I want, whenever I want without any silly promotion or liquored opening.

Tonight I took down Letters from the Past, archived the contents as I had intended, and then I put up a new show První Plavba (First Voyage). The title comes from the Czech translation of Herman Melville's Redburn: His First Voyage, which he published in 1849, two years and two books before Moby Dick. I bought a 1965 edition of the Czech translation for one dollar ten years ago in the unfrequented used-book back room at Barnes and Noble on Route 17 in Paramus, New Jersey. I was shocked to find a collection of Czech books there and I am sure that I had the best intentions to actually read it but that is not going to happen in this lifetime.

The incentive for this show came from an urge I have always had to take such a book and strip out and display all the pages with drawings. První Plavba has 62 black and white ink illustrations drawn by Josef Novák. Even if another viewer could read Czech, the story is now fragmented but the narrative is maintained in the pictures.