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Project Statement

by T.Shaw

In the 1970's and 80's Bonnie Gordon traced the connections between a half-tone photograph and definitions found in Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged. The photograph, reportedly found in a Santa Monica, California junk shop, is of an "everyman" wearing a common shirt and tie. Every word used by Gordon, in connection with the photograph, was provided by the Merriam-Webster's dictionary. Gordon's project was to trace chance associations between the photograph and found words in order to "reveal or reify deep-rooted attitudes and experiences" that make our human bodies out of language. The project is enhanced (but also constrained) by three subjects besides the human figure: the color black, half-tone screen or pattern, and the action of stretching.

The Anatomy of the Image Maps

Bonnie Gordon

title note: subtitle: According to Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged [T.Shaw]


Bonnie Gordon

type: initiating


active: United States

publication: 1982-00-00

Visual Studies Workshop Press

type: initiating


New York Council on the Arts

type: other

unknown Provided support through an individual projects grant

Publication Information

publisher: Visual Studies Workshop Press

production: 1982-00-00

publication history: One edition printed and distributed by Visual Studies Workshop Press [T. Shaw]

Aesthetic Profile

conceptual (AAT)
systemic (AAT)
language poetry (local)

puzzles (LCSH)
unknown Eytymology

themes: Language and the human body [T. Shaw]

content form:
Linguistic Study

publication tradition:
artists' book (local)
process (local)

related works: other titles by the author The Four Temperaments, 1974, and Anatomy of Proteus, 1982 [T. Shaw]

community: press Visual Studies Workshop Press [T. Shaw]

Related Documents

manuscript type: mockups

location: other Press sheets and related ephemera exist in Visual Studies Workshop Press's production archive.

note: The artist has been working on this project for decades. Doubtless innumerable documents exist in her personal archive in Buffalo, NY pertaining to the book and project.