and JAKE ESHELMAN
ECHOES OF THE WITCH
Margaux Crump (b.1989, USA, under a dark moon) is an interdisciplinary artist exploring the slippery relationships between power, spirituality, and ecology. Her recent work is focused on troubling the delineations between what we define as magic and science. She is currently curious about fairy lore, cosmic rays, divination, and the boundaries of consciousness.
Crump has exhibited across the United States, most notably at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Saint Louis; The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, Washington, DC; and Women & Their Work, Austin, TX. She holds a MFA in studio art from Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and a BA from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. She is based in Houston, TX.
Jake Eshelman (b. 1989, USA) is a documentary photographer whose practice investigates ethics, ecology, and anthropocentrism. Primarily through long-term, self-directed projects, his recent work explores humanity’s nuanced interactions with other-than-human beings across agriculture, environmental conservation, and cultural memory.
Eshelman’s work has been published and exhibited by institutions such as The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, The Morgan Conservatory, Hume Chicago, Simon & Schuster, Texas Monthly, Lenscratch, and Trouvé Magazine. He holds a BA in Classical Studies with a concentration in mythology, hermeneutics, and reception theory, as well as minor in Studio Art & Art History from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. He is currently based in Houston, TX.
Echoes of the Witch is a photographic documentary project exploring cultural memory, power, and the land as they manifest through American witch executions.
What we choose to remember—and how—has a profound impact on how we understand ourselves and our world.
In 2019, visual artist Margaux Crump and documentary photographer Jake Eshelman travelled across present-day America to document the locations where records indicate fifty-four individuals were accused of witchcraft and executed by the state. Operating on the premise that places hold memory and that cultural memory can be deeply political, this project investigates how the land and the people in these sites have honored, altered, hidden, perverted, or neglected the memories of these persecutions.
Richly imagined by Western culture, the archetype of the witch occupies the liminal spaces between past and present, real and fantasy, fear and desire. It exists in the periphery—a metonym for danger and difference. Hag, healer, beggar, heretic, seductress; the witch has long haunted our stories. Yet we have not made it a priority to remember those who were condemned and executed. Why is this? Why does the witch thrive as a cultural construct, while individuals executed for witchcraft are largely forgotten or excluded?
By confronting these questions, Echoes of the Witch strives to help bring these memories back into our collective consciousness, contributing to the process of (un)learning, healing, and evolving together.
To our knowledge, this is the first ever visual survey of these locations.