Browsing tag: HOSPITAL


  Found inside a closet in an old psychiatric ward in Italy. Burnt, painted, scribbled on, these cards have turned into a very personal visual poem over time.        

Keeping Records

    Someone took the warning "Do Not Remove From Hospital" on the patient files a bit too seriously when this place was shuttered. Of course it seems to be a rarity whenever the staff of a closing hospital actually disposes of medical records in a way that keeps them confidential. Usually the echo of the giant "Fuck it" reverberates for years after the doors are slammed shut. Coming across records like this time and again, it was surprising to see what a stir was caused in

Doorway in the Afternoon

  "... As I went forward, striding very strong, and making a good speed, I did hear presently a little noise upward in the night, and someways unto my left, that had seeming as that it were a strange low sound that did come down to me out of an hidden doorway above; for, indeed, though the sound did come from very nigh, as it did seem no more than a score feet above my head, yet was it a noise that did come out of a great and mighty distance, and out of a Foreign Place. And I did know

Concealed Weapon

      At first it barely caught the eye. A small pencil drawing on a wall that was otherwise completely untouched. On my last excursions I've focused even more on the rare patient drawings that still cling to deteriorating asylum walls. This one at first seemed fake, something added by a recent visitor. But the surrounding paint was flaking enough to peel and find out. It wasn't possible to peek beyond the bullet, since the more solid paint chips were starting

Watching You Fight For Your Life

  This is definitely what I would want to wake up to as a child with a life-threatening illness in this cheery old ward. How consoling it is to think that if you make it, some day you might have a family that is just as adorable and wholesome as those dolls. All the better if one of those dolls starts speaking to you after a week or two of lying there in a drugged stupor, for surely it has great advice. Although if it contains the words "die", "choke" or "kill", you might just be better

Waiting for the Light to Change

  A marvelous piece of art found in the decrepit isolation ward of a state hospital. Easy to miss at first glance, it's a replica of the setting that covers what used to be the TV screen behind the chair. I especially like the faithful rendering of the debris. Below, a close-up of the image followed by a picture of the same scene two years ago.    

Group Therapy

  Are your imaginary friends getting a little too intense? If so, maybe it's time to take a deep breath and spend some time with these dudes, who clearly only have your best interest at heart. Since these murals no longer exist in person, photos will have to suffice. Found at the splendid Dixmont State Hospital in Pennsylvania shortly before its demolition by Walmart in 2006.    


  Waking up with this new president in place, it already feels like a better world than yesterday. And there are such beauties in his most recent home state. I first heard of Obama a few years ago in connection with my very favorite abandoned hospital. I had recently discovered it in a small town in southern Illinois and its creepy hallways, moss-carpeted floors and decaying beds inspired a continuous work in progress called Funeral Play. The (then) senator, I read while doing some

I Want To Curate Rot

  In this museum – otherwise known as a shuttered regional hospital – a special room is dedicated to the science of deterioration. Enter this glass-framed exhibition space and you can admire an astonishing specimen of wall decomposition with its characteristic folds of drooping paint. Stay as long as you like, the show will only get better. There is even a bench for those who would like to sit and sketch or simply contemplate the epidermal changes in the scenery. All that’s missing are a

Three Doors, Three Years

  Above, the upper floor of a mental hospital building as seen in December 2006. Below are the same three doors in December 2007 (top) and December 2008. The green door took a hit; otherwise there are surprisingly few changes, even though this area no longer has a roof. If it's still possible to return in December 2009, it will have been a good year.    


  In this formerly communist-run hospital, a soldier guards a dilapidated fuse box. It's unclear whose side he's on; maybe he's just trying to protect himself from falling paint chips. In the meantime, a power outlet has been conquered further down the hall.     But an even more subtle infiltration can be seen in the outer territories of the soldier's post.     The drawings around the windows at first blend in like intricately textured


... this travelogue

Explorations and ruminations about time capsules near and far, with an eye towards the structures, textures and playgrounds of decay. A companion blog for

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