ARTIST'S STATEMENT
"Tongues Turned to Stone" is a portfolio of photogravure prints of images of ancient theatres, which is itself a section of a body of work focusing on that part of human history that is "written" in stone. The stone may be naturally occurring or man-made (buildings, bridges, statuary, stairways, inscriptions). The theatres are set in environments that are themselves subject to metaphorical interpretation. Images and their titles are not intended to be documentary but represent landscapes populated by a "forest of symbols." The overriding thrust here is a natural/culture interaction.



The ancient Tragic Theatre is grounded in Greek myths, which may be seen as a form of sacred scripture and a foundation of Western culture. In the view of C.G. Jung, the Greek myths are not just stories about the distant past, but the basic foundation of the unconscious psyche. At the archetypal level, they represent universal patterns of the experience of mankind. There is also an historical element that interacts with the archetypal dimension resulting in the classical Greek tragedies. I have composed the images to emphasize the elements of ancient Greek theatres: the fan-shaped auditorium built into a natural hillside, the entrances, the circular orchestra, and the skene where the actors chould change masks without being seen.

Obviously, the theatre remnants are situated in a particular place and time (5th century Greece). The theatre ruin stands for history as a process of decay, neglect, and loss. Some of them are being devoured by nature. While I have largely excluded human figures, humanity is the unseen force (Nature) that permeates the sites. I hope the viewer feels the palpable presence of the absent spectators as well as the spirits of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. The persons who are actually present represent resurrection.

The issues raised in the Greek tragedies remain relevant:


             Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow

             Creeps in the petty pace from day to day
 
             To the last syllable of recorded time;

             And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

            The way to dusty death.
 
             Out, out brief candle!

              Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
 
            That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
 
              And then is heard no more. It is a tale

              Signifying nothing.

                             Shakespeare, Macbeth

I chose the photogravure process using Gampi shi, a handmade Japanese paper, because it yields a delicate, warm image that seems to belong to the past. Waiting for Godot (Epidaurus, Peloponnese, Greece)Sacred Way of Apollo (Delphi, Greece)Etna Speaks, Aeschylus Listens (Taormina, Sicily, Italy)Midsummer Night's Dream (Megalopolis, Peloponnese, Greece)A Heap of Broken Images (Delos, the Cyclades, Greece)And Then Is Heard No More (Ancient Thira, Santorini, Greece) Keeper of the Stars (Melos, the Cyclades, Greece)All Our Yesterdays (Tyndaris, Sicily, Italy)Front Row Seats (Priene, Turkey)Our Dried Voices (Argos, Peloponnese, Greece)Stillness in the Wind (Stobi, Republic of North Macedonia)A Clean Well-Lighted Place (Patara, Turkey)The Sound and the Furies (Phaselis, Turkey)Where Eagles Fly (Termessos, Turkey)Deus ex Machina (Ohrid, Republic of North Macedonia)Sacred Grove (Ostia Antica, Italy)Ode to Man (Segesta, Sicily, Italy)The Athenians Are Coming! (Syracusa, Sicily, Italy)Long Ago and Far Away (Akrai, Sicily, Italy)Don't Look Back (Morgantina, Sicily, Italy)Out, Out Brief Candle (Messene, Peloponnese, Greece)Time Passes (Letoon, Turkey)These Places Have Their Moments (Pompeii, Italy)Burial of the Dead (Pinara, Turkey)Last Picture Show (Selge, Turkey)The Show Must Go On (Athens, Greece)"The Clouds" (Butrint, Albania)The Gods Are Dead (Theatre of Dionysis, Athens, Greece)Tongues turned to Stone (Ostia Antica, Italy)Dress RehearsalFestival of DionysusCast of CharactersMuse of ComedyMuse of TragedyStarring Hercules!Goat SongMourning Becomes ElectraGorgon—The LookGorgon MedusaTragic Mask with OnkosSlayer of the Nemean LionImpudent Slave MaskOld Man of SpartaI Grow Old, I Grow OldHollow ManThe Map of TimeThe ScreamKnow ThyselfMistah Kurtz, He Dead