Manual 4, 1998
serigraph with thread on oiled and sewn kozo paper
gloves: 21 x 12 cm each (approx.)
National Gallery of Canada (no. 40056.1-2)
© Jeannie Thib
Jeannie Thib's "Manual" series consists of ten pairs of women's gloves - three pairs of which are in the National Gallery collection - fashioned from finely stitched Japanese paper coated with oil to resemble ancient parchment. Recalling Victorian notions of gentility and social propriety, the gloves have been printed with instructional texts culled from antique books and encyclopaedias that recall nineteenth-century scientific notions of order and classification as a means of obtaining knowledge of and control over nature. To inscribe these treatises directly onto the gloves points to the way in which such histories and knowledge systems are also written onto the body, informing social conduct and the construction of identity. "Manual" thus highlights the body as both an archive and a site for social inscription.