This was made last year. But It's back in my mind again today. It's back again– but in a new and different way. It's a block print that I carved for a poster for The Crucible. There's something unique about printing that made me choose the medium as a way to advertise this play. The unique effect is it's own uniqueness. Every time you pull the paper from the block, a new version of the same image appears. No matter how exactly you try to duplicate the original visual, there are always slight alterations. In one, the ink is heavier, denser, the placement is angled and the perspective skewed. The next time, ink gathers deeply in only one area and draws your attention to a new detail. There are endless possibilities, but they all emerge from the same starting form.
Each time a play is revived and life and energy floods through it's written words, it alters. With time, perspectives alter, focus shifts, new truths are added to our collective understanding. The plot and emotional emphasis are dragged along into a new light by the new context of time and place that surround its new birth.
I felt this was essential to reflect when creating an image for The Crucible. There is so much more that we see as we look upon the characters, listen to their words and witness their lives when we take it in guided by our 2018 understandings, and backwards down the tunnel it's travelled since it's first life in 1953, and then its reflection back even further, to the events, beliefs, and choices that inspired it, back in 1692.
When we consider the play from any time and any place, we consider our own experiences alongside it. In 2018, we are horrified. We look back to 1953, we look back to 1692...and somehow, what we're seeing is recognizable today.
The Crucible tells of lives tangled up in the horrors of the Salem Witch trials. Young girls accuse others in their town of forcing them to do "the devils work", they are believed and because of it, 19 people are hanged. Today, what we see is a twisted and emotionally wrenching display of misogyny. Playwright, Arthur Miller wrote these girls to appear deceptive, and conniving. We see woman depicted in a gathering that bands together to cause torturous manipulation of the older male law abiders.
The process and remarks that surround the Kavanaugh hearing has made me crumble at my core. The case is fought using trope assumptions of 1953, 1692, and every year before, between and, to our rightful horror– since.
Trump's remarks give us all reason to be outraged. During his press conference on September 26th, he showed his empathy sides with the lasting effects on the accused life with no regard to Ford's experience–
“They’ve destroyed a man’s reputation, and they want to destroy it even more." "...and they know it’s a big fat con job. And they go into a room and I guarantee you, they laugh like hell at what they pulled on on you, and on the public.”
Yesterday, at a rally he went even further to directly mock Ford and belittle her, implying that her words were insignificant lies. When the President of The United States uses such a horrifically low form of derogatory remarks, he's making it very clear why it can take years to report assaults, and solidifies the fact that by doing so, Ford should be celebrated for her power and courage.