Uncharted Histories: Pirates

Uncharted Histories: Pirates
mixed media, 2008

(winner – The Images Festival Steamwhistle Homebrew Award – 2008)

Through film, video, and collage, Uncharted Histories: Pirates investigates the changing political status of pirates by considering the roles they played in the power struggle between monarchs of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Generally defined by their attacks and thievery indiscriminate of nationality, many pirates contributed greatly to the development, growth and success of struggling nations. As countries battled to gain power, a number of pirates facilitated the expansion and colonialization of new lands through the exploration and mapping of uncharted territories. Also positioning the pirate as explorer, the work imagines encounters faced on the shores of undiscovered islands. Pirates noted in the historical record are placed within dark and curious scenarios as they fight off surprise attacks from the unfamiliar surroundings.

List of works:
“Anne Bonny, Unknown Island, 1719”
35mm motion picture film emulsion, acetate, diffusion paper, filtered projected light.

“A Summary of New Discoveries Made Along Sir Francis Drake’s Journey Around the World, 1577 – 1580”
16mm film loop.

“Henry Morgan, Unknown Island, 1667”
35mm motion picture film emulsion, acetate, diffusion paper, filtered projected light.

“A New and Accurate Map of the World Drawn According to the Best and Latest Discoveries That Have Been Made”
35mm motion picture film emulsion, acetate, diffusion paper, light, 4 minute sound loop.

“Uncharted Histories: Pirates [Sir Francis Drake; Sir John Hawkins; Sir Henry Morgan; Captain William Kidd; Edward Teach (Blackbeard)]”
16mm film projected on video, silent, 14 minutes.

“Strangers in a Strange Land: Christina Battle’s Pirates”, Jon Davies 2008 (PDF)

This project was produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council, the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto and with exhibition assistance from the Ontario Arts Council and would not have been possible without each organization’s support.

Special thanks to: James & Dorothy Battle, Jesse Van Der Schaaf, Ana Barajas & YYZ Artists’ Outlet, Pablo de Ocampo, Leslie Peters, Scott Berry & the Images Festival, Irene & WARC Gallery, Jon Davies, Leslie Topness & Sara MacLean.

Images from the YYZ Artists’ Outlet Exhibition [courtesy of Peter MacCallum ]: