|My (Discouragingly) White Life
|Artist / Creator
|Place of Publication
|Kingston, Ontario, Canada
|Process / Technique
|Structure / Binding
|Medium / Materials
|Acetate and acid-free board covers
|Inkpress Fine Art Matte Paper and Tibetan Straw paper and Plainfield Offset Brite White
|Number of Pages
|6.25 x 9 x .5 inches. Extends out to 30 inches
|Edition of 6
|Signed & Numbered
In the book, Learning to be White: Money, Race and God in America, the author, Thandeka, writes: "African Americans have learned to use a racial language to describe themselves and others. Euro-Americans also have learned a pervasive racial language. But in their racial lexicon, their own racial group becomes the great unsaid." As a means of becoming aware of this racialization process, she suggests playing the Race Game. It has only one rule: for a week, one must use the term white whenever one mentions the name of a person of European descent. For example, one might say, "my white friend Beth, or "my white son Matthias." I was taken aback by how overwhelmingly white is the number of my friends, acquaintances and contacts. Out of this exercise came this book, My (Discouragingly) White Life. On acetate, I have printed the titles of all the people in my daily life, in white and pale brown. The layering on the acetate is beautiful, but there's no denying that it is mostly white.
Artist BioLise Melhorn-Boe has been making and exhibiting books and sculptural bookworks for over thirty years. She studied at the University of Guelph and received her M.A. and M.F.A. degrees from Wayne State University in Detroit. Melhorn-Boe has exhibited widely across Canada and the United States as well as Europe and South America. Her work is in several public and university collections including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Canada Council Art Bank, Library and Archives Canada, the National Gallery in Ottawa, The Tate London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.