Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Hussey, collage on photograph, 4x6 inches

Cutting it close to the deadline, as usual, I have finished my postcard for the CW Post ABAD. The exhibition will be opened November 1–5, 2010. This show will include among its participants Yoko Ono. I am honored to be in her company, as well as the company of my dear friend Mary C. Leto and all the other wonderful artists who are sending their work to ABAD. I think Ray Johnson would have liked it.

I started this piece with a photograph. The innocence on this girl's face was very striking to me. The script at the bottom of the photo reads, Hussey, the name of the studio where the image was taken, and the place: Salem, Mass. I liked all the implications of the words so I built a "witch" trial around her, using 15th century engravings and a page from Poe's "The Black Cat."

There is a complete transcript of the trials at the University of Virginia Library, and also a section where you can see actual documents:

Warrant for Arrest of Rachel Clenton (text typed below includes spelling and grammar verbatim from transcript):

To the Constable of Ipswich --

Whereas There is Complaint Exhibbitted to the Honored Court now holden at Ipswich

In Behalfe of their majesties. against Rachell -- Formerly the Wife of Lawrence Clenton of Ipswich on grounded Suspision of witchcraft, & whereas Recognizance is Enterd, for prosecution –

You are hereby Required in their Majesties names forthwith or as soon as may be to apprehend seize & bringe before the Honored Court to be holden at Ipswich the sayd Rachell Clenton on the next morrow morning at Eight a Clock In order to an orderly Examination , & Conviction & hereof fail not at Your perrill & for so doing this shall be your warrant of which you are to make a true returne as the Law derects....