Louise Krasniewicz | Peepshow: Don’t Tell
5 3/4” x 5 1/4” x 4 1/4”
Media: Mixed media assemblage
Materials: Wood, plastic, paper
In the 17th and 18th centuries, peep shows were large boxes that itinerant showmen carried from town to town. The boxes had remarkable scenes inside which could be seen through a viewing hole. The term peep show later applied to arcade machines that showed culturally illicit images, usually of nude women. I decided to use this peep show format because the miniature scenes inside my boxes are usually hidden from public view unless you make an effort to look for them. The use of the peep show format was inspired by the #MeToo movement which brought to view the abuses of women which had previously been difficult to bring to the public’s attention.
“In this peepshow called “Don’t Tell,” a dirty hand has been bound, Gulliver’s Travels style, with miniature ropes and stakes. The ropes are woven through beads that are the type young girls use to make bracelets. The beads spell “Don’t Tell.” Three women witness the scene, carrying their own baggage. The old cigar box that has become this peep show simply represents a form of traditional male culture. The “Don’t Tell” order is often given to young girls who have been sexually molested and the beads remind us that very young children need a way to spell out their experiences.”
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