Monday, February 13, 2006

Abandoned witnessing walls

Opacity is a site devoted to "urban exploration". Let me say I am not a particular fan of trespassing, and know nothing about urban exploration except what is found at this web site. Opacity came up on a Google search for "Pennhurst".

However, the picture galleries on this web site are the most truly fascinating thing I have seen for a long, long time. So many of the ruins the photographer has explored are state hospitals for the insane, or the "feeble minded". So much was left behind in some of the abandoned hospitals that it leaves the impression of instant abandonment-as though the inmates simply vanished into thin air. There are crates full of baby bottles left at Fuller State Hospital, and Chris and Tyrone left their art projects behind when they went...where?

The iron lungs abandoned at Lindon State Hospital, still bearing hand written messages to nursing staff who, by the time the last lung was in use, must have become unused to such technology. Where did the people go, who once spent their days in the lungs?

The cribs and abandoned toys of Pennhurst.

I don't know which photograph haunts me the most.



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