Jacquelyn A. Martino: hangman: is there an “I”?

  • ©,

  • ©,



    hangman: is there an "I"?


Creation Year:



    Work on Paper


    24 inches x 28 inches



Artist Statement:

    The images of hangman: is there an “I”? examine how our relationships with our bodies can influence self-identity. In these images, a metaphorical hangman emerges from the dark confusion left by the warring factions of inner and outer self: mental image and physical reality. The inner voice develops into a cacophonous, raging, judgmental monologue. The hangman takes host in the now harassed, disoriented self and embarks on an externally quiet yet destructive rage.

    In an echo of the hangman word game, the hangman records individual body parts. As the inner self quests to solve the puzzle, the absence of “I” brings the game closer to a losing finale. The physical body, at times seemingly hidden by choice while at others completely obscured by environmental trappings, serves as testimony to the hellish battle.

    Like an executioner, the hangman’s charge is to carry out the sentence and ensure that the physical body falls from an appropriate height. In essence, the body destroys itself. Robbed of breath and ultimately strangled, the inner self has been supplanted by an overwhelming physical force.