The Family that Liked to Eat
By Lise Melhorn-Boe
North Bay, Ontario: Transformer Press, 1998. Edition of 3.
8 x 11.25" closed; 8 pages. Carousel structure. Pop ups. Constructed from Ecohemp 89 lb cover from Ecosource Paper. Painted with watercolors. Photo images and text color-copied on Tree Free Eco-21 Paper (40% hemp, 40% flax, 20% cotton). Typeset: New Century Schoolbook. Illustrated boards. Tie closures.
Caroline Langill, Home/bodies: "Thoughts on Disclosure in the Recent Work of Lise Melhorn-Boe (Written in 1999 for the exhibition entitled Ghost Costumes at the White Water Gallery): "With this recent body of work, using the legacies left to her by her parents, Melhorn-Boe reveals the hidden lives of parents and children. So much of what happens in a family, as it struggles to maintain some semblance of normality, is invisible to the world. Pauline Melhorn produced a number of journals which expose a life fraught with tensions about missed opportunities, at a time when the notion of the nuclear family had reached its peak.
"... The Family That Liked to Eat looks at the whole family and takes us back to a childhood full of middle class values. The adopted style mimics children’s literature. The pop-up format exploits infantile aesthetics in order to emphasize the irony of their ‘happy’ lives. By utilizing this form Melhorn-Boe locates us within the environment of her childhood. This canny strategy, to subvert our adult rationality through form, opens us up to the lives of this family from the point of view of the child/adult.
"The colour xerox on the cover of The Family That Liked to Eat shows her [Pauline Melhorn] cheerily displaying a plate of mussels. It is not hard to imagine what drove her to involve herself in this subject to this extent, since we know full well that the body is a site of struggle for power within the family, but it is difficult to determine what drove her to write about it so, especially since it is clear through other writings, that she had other desires and needs outside of this realm of food. For this writer, this is how Pauline Melhorn has maintained her secrets—although the journals are now the property of her children, she has still managed to shield herself from them, to maintain her privacy, through a very cryptic text."
$850 (Last Copy)
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