Trembling Masks

9 repurposed wooden frames initially used for domestic imagery, 9 pieces of text, paper, used metal objects, crochet, antique gardening gloves, rug, 2016

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Mask 1: The Virgin

 

“She’s too valuable to hump,” the king whispers to the warrior. Queen Iseult, or the Moon Queen, in a dark blue dress quietly walks down the stairs to tell the fortune of the warrior—will he succeed in helping the King to restore his political power? She tells the king that he is the one. The ambitious warrior, who dreams to build his own kingdom someday, turns out to be the one who will save her from the old king’s confinement. Having heard that her power resides in her pure soul as a virgin, the warrior brings her into his journey as his most valuable asset to remain untouched, until she becomes traumatized by the unforeseen consequences of her own magic used for his cause. In despair, she begs him to take her virginity, to save her from her own power, to take her as a ‘woman.’ Shortly after, she dies in the hands of his enemy who calls her a “whore.”

 

 

The Last Kingdom, 2015, BBC Two and BBC America, UK and USA

Recorded 2.5 million total viewers for its first season on BBC Two

 

 

 

 

Mask 2: The Shadow

 

“Being too close to the sun, her entire family will burn; nevertheless, she is born to safeguard the sun.” A dying shaman predicts that the daughter of a minister, Yeon-Woo (meaning ‘misty rain’), will be born with a special connection with the prince whom she is destined to protect from harm. However, her fate to be his invisible half proves to be life-threatening, as the prince is ordained to get married to a corrupt noble’s daughter who later dies from a magic spell. In the midst of secret feuds in the Court, her father is framed for treason, and Yeon-Woo survives the familial extermination with the help of a court shaman who stages her death and gives her a disguising identity as a newly initiated shaman. Erased from history but supposedly endowed with spiritual power, she is now the perfect candidate to be the protecting shadow of the prince, who is now the new king. Against all odds and brutality, she finally gets close enough to protect the king, only by keeping her existence and proximity unknown to him. When the truth regarding her familial extermination is revealed, she clears her family name and becomes the new queen of the king. Even as a queen, she is praised for her modesty to remain in the shadow, being likened to the quiet Moon reflecting the bright light of the shining Sun.

 

 

Moon Embracing the Sun, 2012, MBC, South Korea

Recorded 43.3% of nation-wide Nielsen ratings for its season finale

 

 

 

Mask 3: The Possessed

 

Vanessa Ives is said to be “possessed”; they say she is destined to be the Mother of Evil, the Bride of the Devil. When she finally stands by his side, the world is said to crumble.

On the verge of her sexual maturity, she is diagnosed as psychosexually disturbed and committed to a mental asylum, after having sex with her friend’s fiancé. Tormented by her own guilt and brutalized by torturous procedures in the asylum, Vanessa continues to seek God’s absolution and protection that never comes. After a traumatic brain surgery, she is released but has nowhere to go. Vanessa’s family disowned her, as her mother died from the shock of witnessing her possessed in a sexual union with the Devil. Vanessa bravely resists the Devil’s further attempts to dominate her, but his brother, Dracula, seduces her in disguise. In her weakest moment, she accepts Dracula’s proposal that he loves her for who she is not who the world wants her to be. Watching the evil’s dominion over all life, however, she asks an old lover to kill her to save the world.

 

 

Penny Dreadful, 2014-2016, Showtime, UK

Recorded 1.45 million total viewers on its premiere, without counting non-subscribers of Showtime

 

 

 

 

 

Mask 4: The Demon

 

“She is an abject, psychopathic, demon from Hell that as soon as she gets into power is going to try to destroy the planet. I’m sure of that, and people around her say she’s so dark now, and so evil, and so possessed that they are having nightmares, they’re freaking out.…I mean this woman is dangerous, ladies and gentlemen. I’m telling you, she is a demon. This is Biblical.

 

…Imagine how bad she smells, man? I’m told her and Obama, just stink, stink, stink, stink. You can’t wash that evil off, man. Told there’s a rotten smell around Hillary. I’m not kidding, people say, they say—folks, I’ve been told this by high up folks. They say listen, Obama and Hillary both smell like sulfur…And they listen, she’s a frickin’ demon and she stinks and so does Obama. I go, like what? Sulfur. They smell like Hell.”

 

 

Alex Jones, 10/10/2016, The Alex Jones Show, Genesis Communications Networks, USA

Infowars website that features the show reaches over 7.2 million viewers monthly.

 

 

 

 

 

Mask 5: The Hell

 

“…Down from the waiste they are Centaurs,

Though Women all above,

But to the girdle do the gods inherit,

Beneath is all the fiends;

There is hell, there is darkness,

There is the sulphurous pit,

Burning, scalding, stench, consumption…”

 

 

King Lear, circa 1606

William Shakespeare

England

 

 

 

 

 

Mask 7: The Sirens  

 

“…First you will raise who spellbind any man alive,

whoever comes their way. Whoever draws too close,

off guard, and catches the Sirens’ voices in the air—

no sailing home for him, no wife rising to meet him,

no happy children beaming up at their father’s face.

The high, thrilling song of the Sirens will transfix him,

lolling there in their meadow, round them heaps of corpses

rotting away, rags of skin shriveling on their bones…

Race straight past that coast!”

 

 

Odyssey, circa 8th Century BC, Homer, Ionia

 

 

 

 

 

Mask 6: The Witch

 

“The next step of the Judge should be that, if after being fittingly tortured she refuses to confess the truth, he should have other engines of torture brought before her, and tell her that she will have to endure these if she does not confess. If then she is not induced by terror to confess, the torture must be continued on the second or third day, but not repeated at the present time unless there should be some fresh indication of its probable success.”

 

 

Malleus Maleficarum, 1486, Heinrich Kramer, Germany

Written as a legal manual for identifying and prosecuting witches, Malleus ignited the Great Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe, which led to countless tortures, convictions, and executions of women, resulting an estimated total of 40,000 to 60,000 deaths

 

 

 

 

Mask 8: The Sinner

 

4 “You will certainly not die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “God knows that when you eat fruit from that tree, you will know things you have never known before. Like God, you will be able to tell the difference between good and evil.”

 

16 The Lord God said to the woman,

“I will increase your pain when you give birth.

You will be in great pain when you have children.

You will long for your husband.

And he will rule over you.”

 

 

Genesis 3:4-16, the Hebrew Bible, circa 10th Century BC

The Bible is believed to be the world’s best-selling and most widely distributed book. A recent estimate suggests that more than 6 billion copies of the Bible have been printed.

 

 

 

 

Mask 9: The Murderer

 

“…On or about the 13th day of July, 2013, in St. Joseph County, State of Indiana, PURVI PATEL, who is more than eighteen (18) years old, and having the care of a dependent, did knowingly place that dependent in a situation that endangered the dependent’s life or health by failing to provide any medical care for that dependent immediately after the dependent’s birth, resulting in the death of that dependent, who was less than fourteen (14) years old. All of which is contrary to the form of the statue in such cases made and provided, to-wit: Indiana Code 35-1-4(b)(3), and against the peace and dignity of the State of Indiana…”

 

 

Probable Cause Affidavit of Purvi Patel who had a miscarriage and was subsequently charged, convicted, and sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges of feticide,

Prosecuting attorney Michael A. Dvorak, St. Joseph Superior Court, State of Indiana, 2013

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