Twenty Thousand Leagues Under Seas (2013)

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under Seas (2013)

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under Seas

Book Work, 2013

This artist book takes early translations of Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Vingt mille lieues sous les mers) from 1870 as a starting point and treats the process of translation as one of personal interpretation. Each book is a series of textual and visual interventions into Jules Verne’s tale of underwater travel in a fantastical submarine. While the basic plot remains the same, various parts of the text have been altered. This rewrite has been done in order to embed Art Nouveau forms into the narrative. As a way of commenting on Art Nouveau’s relationship to forms of colonialism (particularly Belgian), certain imperial attitudes from the original book are highlighted. The intention behind making a postcolonial version of Verne’s classic is to underscore problematic ideologies found in popular literature.



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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under Seas was produced by Iwalewa-Haus (Bayreuth), with the support of the French Institute of South Africa. 


Photography: Mario Todeschini



Illustrations for Leagues

46 x silkscreen prints on cotton paper, 20 x 20cm, 2012

The illustrations for the book are drawings using texts that had been discarded from late 19th century English translations of the novels. These have been made into a series of silkscreen prints.