Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Collaboration through Containment

The old Lockhart prison was built in the early 1900's and was still in use until the mid-1980's. The most interesting part of the building is the graffiti still on the walls from the prisoners who were incarcerated in the small prison. I like how the craquelature of the paint adds an association with historic oil paintings - thus unconsciously elevating the perception of the graffiti to that of traditional "high art." Additions from different prisoners over time creates an interesting collaboration and conveys the passing of time in the small cells as writings and images add to each other and start to overlap.

I think the art work is fascinating - what would you paint/draw/carve into the walls if you were locked in a small iron cell?

More photos from the prison can be seen here.


shadowsandclouds said...

love the prison set of photos. a few years ago i visited an ex-prison too, quite an unsettling but very interesting experience, looking at all the writing, drawing and magazine cut-out pics on the walls, knowing that the people who had put them up had those 4 walls to look at for so long. your photo sets are really great. have a good day.

Justin Kasulka said...

Thanks - there always seems to be some kind of strange residual energy in old places that have an unsavory history. I think my feeling of uneasiness was stronger photographing this old prison than photographing in prisons that were still in use and full of inmates. Leave it to your imagination to come up with worse stories than what you see with your eyes.