Lisa Ricci
Testimony (yes, and i was happy)
1995
box, photograph, text rearranged from Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre"
9" x 7.5" x 4"
For a period of time, I felt that everything in photography had already been done. I started reading to keep myself from thinking about what little artwork I was making. When I finished a book, I started ripping out the words and rearranging them into a new story, which in a way was still a variation of the same story. The right photograph would happen to come into my possession, like this one. The words and image were combined in this little "bruise box". Hidden until opened.

text:
I know I must conceal my pain sometimes trying to forget what you are and what you have done but then I was very little so very shy looked perfectly happy but I must not show I am afraid someone coming what are you doing unable to answer the faint reply it was an accident I want an explanation I was silent 'I warned you' he retained me by a firmer grasp He threatens me- he continually threatens struck me - knocked me down again and yet again: I cried, half desperate, I covered my head and arms covered my face the trace of a tear glistened the pain was sharp; whimpering and moaning. shut up I struggled to repress a sob hastily wiped away some tears, when told to do it I was disposed to obey yet what could I do or say? my care was how to endure the blow regarding it was a deserved punishment I learned my mistake: carefully I obeyed I did as I was bid, great kindness was balanced by unjust severity I was very rarely noticed; I was like nobody there; if I do anything worthy they insulted me harassed me words inflict: the worse He has told me I am naughty a liar! troublesome careless Who in the world care for you? I began gently to withdraw myself I feel intimidated self-conscious- ashamed I wondered why they did not love me, punished me; stood with folded arms, without speaking struck suddenly and strongly violently thrust me back I cried out suddenly I can never get away I stood and hid my face in my ear very painful and crushing I felt a drop or two of blood though I was in agony; though I cried grasp my hair striking my head against the door lifting up her hands I am afraid that punishment you made me suffer my bedroom no better place to imprison it was cruel to shut me up alone sitting I cannot bear to be solitary and hated looking back to moments when I was bewildered by the terror after all my misery farther or mother attempt to explain: This violence your idea of love listen to explanation: just now I am rather sorry you are a very good girl I do no mean to harm keep it secret: the evidence of touch The event of las night when asked, I was seized with shame: painful embarrassment. an accident happened I could not tell- because it was the truth
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