About 200 years ago, a fleet of English ships got stuck in the Arctic ice for a year. Their Captain had them run up canvas, covering the ships’ masts. They battened the hatches, so to speak, and watched as the sun set for winter’s entirety, waiting with unimaginable patience for spring. They waited for their passage home to melt. Under Captain Parry’s orders, the fleet printed a newspaper: the entries of which were solicited from the men on deck, under the condition that nothing depressing be published. These men also put on plays.
Chicago’s Green Lantern Press is proud to announce the re-release of this manuscript, The North Georgia Gazette. Touring the country along with this book is a group exhibition, Isolated Fictions, featuring contemporary artists from the publication. The book has been published in an edition of 250 with original silk-screen covers and features excerpts from the Captain’s Journal, the newspaper in its entirety, an essay by contemporary Arctic explorer John Huston, end notes by transcriber/poet Lily Robert-Foley, original artwork by Daniel Anhorn, Jason Dunda, Rebecca Grady, and Deb Sokolow, and a limited edition 7″ record by Nick Butcher.
Isolated Fictions features works on paper by Deb Sokolow that address the second person, incorporating that viewer into the Arctic landscape; large gouache paintings of impossible wood towers by Jason Dunda that parallel the newspaper’s impossible success; maps of the Arctic, as well as a sculpture of an ice floe by Rebecca Grady; and a 7” record made of wood glue by Nick Butcher that plays on repeat.
The Newspaper itself functions as a metaphor for an inherent aspect of humanity: whether the Arctic is a devastating place, or a place wild with imagination and longing, it represents the unknown. That unknown can exist in the world, between neighboring communities. But often that unknown space is within oneself, and though it is essential to try and communicate those territories—to study them and map them out, they maintain a mysterious ground. And it is in the failure of exposing everything, or knowing everything, that we accomplish great heights of beauty.