When patients were committed to the Willard Asylum for the Insane in Upstate New York, they arrived with a suitcase packed with all of the possessions they thought they needed for their time inside.
Most never left. The mental hospital had an average stay of nearly 30 years. When patients died, they were buried in nameless graves across the street of the asylum. Their suitcases, with all their worldly possessions, were locked in an attic and forgotten.
In 1995, an employee of the mental hospital discovered the suitcases, 400 of them. They date from 1910 to 1960.
Now, photographer Jon Crispin is cataloging each suitcase and opening a window into the lives - and the minds - of the people deemed too unwell to be allowed in society.
Pieces of a past life: This suitcase belonged to Anna. Inside was a letter that was not addressed to her, a pair of toothbrushes and several gaudy belts and sashes - as well as shoes and hats
Leg amputation of seargent Antonio Bustos, practiced by the belgian surgeon Pedro Vander Linden, who is holding the amputated leg, during the Mexican-American war, it is considered the first daguerrotype of an amputation on the battlefield.
Shepard Fairey's new poster revisits John Carpenter's 1988 horror film They Live. Image courtesy Alamo Drafthouse
Poster artist Shepard Fairey puts an obedient spin on John Carpenter’s politically themed horror satire They Live in a new poster, unveiled Thursday night in conjunction with Alamo Drafthouse’s screening of the 1988 sci-fi classic.
Fairey credits They Live as a “major source of inspiraton” for his own subversive brand of street art.
“They Live was … the basis for my use of the word ‘obey,’” Fairey said in a statement. “The movie has a very strong message about the power of commercialism and the way that people are manipulated by advertising.”
Describing his 2003 exhibition, This Is Your God, Fairey noted: “One of my main concepts with the show, and the [Obey] campaign as a whole, was that obedience is the most valuable currency. People rarely consider how much power they sacrifice by blindly following a self-serving corporation’s marketing agenda, and how their spending habits reflect the direction in which they choose to transfer power.” [..more]