Patrick Holbrook :: <Back |Main| Next>

Dictionary
54 Archival Ink Jet Prints on Translucent Vellum, Pages from The American Heitage Dictionary, T-Pins.
This piece also comes in the form of a 250 copy limited edition book. 2001/2004



In Dictionary, I hope to interrogate imperialism by making fun of manifest destiny that has historically informed much American art. Dictionaries categorize and attempt to conquer language, much like the actual land and people of America have been 'divided and conquered'.
I looked at the illustrations and guiding words at the top of each page of the American Heritage Dictionary. The illustrations appear in different locations in the margins of each page. If the illustration was in close enough proximity to the guiding word, I scanned the illustration and guiding word, cropping out the other guiding word and the original text underneath the illustration, pointing out a heretofore unnoticed relationship. Once the initial rules were set up, the process became automated. While I don't think an artist can transcend their ideology in their work, the concept of the decentered author is investigated in Dictionary.