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Asylum

Discussion in 'Books and Media' started by dannieboyuk, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. dannieboyuk

    dannieboyuk Guest
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    For those of you intrested in Mental Hospitals, a new book.....

    Asylum by Christopher Payne

    Review
    "Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals contains sadly beautiful photographs by Christopher Payne and a masterful essay by Oliver Sacks that reminds us that state hospitals were not always places of neglect and abuse but also of true asylum--of refuge from the stresses of life. The book presents us with a world of abandoned buildings, forgotten ashes, and derailed futures. It packs a powerful punch." --Elyn R. Saks, author of The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness, and Professor, USC Law School "Asylum is a haunting, beautiful book of lost dreams and lost minds. It is a reminder that society's ideals deteriorate more rapidly than the structures built to facilitate them. Asylums for the insane, which started with high intentions, usually ended in horror and neglect. Oliver Sacks has written a deeply moving elegy for the lives of those who lived, and often died at these asylums and Christopher Payne has captured the soul of the asylums themselves through his extraordinary photographs. I cannot imagine forgetting this book: it has evoked sadness, awe, and shame." --Kay Redfield Jamison, Professor of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and author of An Unquiet Mind "Christopher Payne's Asylum photographs are sensitively rendered, beautifully wrought documents, expressing the dark histories of abandoned asylums across the United States. The cumulative force of these images describe in exacting detail the vanished worlds of these hospital settings, and hint at the lives lived within them. They are haunting and indelible images." --David Maisel, author and photographer, Library of Dust
     

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  2. Ali_Explores

    Ali_Explores AKA Gary
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    After reading Winchester's copy, i had to order my own! I can't recommend this book enough people, the images are stunning, haunting and actually quite emotional in places :gay
    Seriously though some fabulous photos, it was shot on film (dont know which camera) and its also very interesting to read. BUY IT!
     
  3. ASOM

    ASOM One-Man Urbex Art Army
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    Yeah, it's been out a while, I was lucky enough to get one for Xmas!:p

    The guy was sponsored by MIT (after what began as a general vague interest) to document the US asylums (or "State Hospitals") and he did a damn good job, great photos throughout, stunning in places. It's really worth the hefty price (and postage - it's a big heavy book - you could beat a whale to death with it).

    Caveat Emptor though: You WILL feel that pained sense of missing out unless you're one of the lucky few that got to these places in time - from an architectural point of view, the Kirkbrides put even the most grandiose of our asylums to shame (Thomas Kirkbride totally ran away with the (in retrospect, rather delusional) concept that fantasic architecture would somehow also help people "get better") and the final images of Danvers will make you weep harder than an image of a puppy and a chainsaw.:eek:

    Not to spoil the text for anyone who reads it, but one of the things I found interesting was where he talks about the bleeding-hearts insisting that the work regimes of asylums for inmates was "exploitative", and so it was eventually banned.
    This had two hugely negative effects, firstly a practical one - these immense buildings/communities had suddenly lost a huge source of income (when you look at an average inmate workforce of 1000 or more, or in the case of Pilgrim State Hospital around 9,000!:eek:) who could make their own food, clothing, and other items that could be sold to the local community, suddenly removing that was a death-blow.

    But also in the effects on the inmates themselves - many who were not necessarily able to take part in other social activities could still tend cattle, pick fruit, work fields (or even the classic basket-weaving), etc, and suddenly there wasn't much else to do except TV or "the staring window"!:(
     
  4. dannieboyuk

    dannieboyuk Guest
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    I received my copy of Asylum this morning and it’s a stunning book to say the least! If your into Mental Institutions and there history through pictures then this is the book for you.

    Buy it, you wont be disappointed .

    Danny
     
  5. The Joker

    The Joker Guest
    Guest

    I have this book I like it a lot, it bothers me how some of the back of a few pages are blank. I have been to a lot of locations in this book and its cool to be able to show other people what I do.
     
  6. dannieboyuk

    dannieboyuk Guest
    Guest

    LOL I thought it strange there were blank pages, I did a search on this and here is the Answer:

    Many well-crafted photo books make frequent use of an empty left-hand page to create a rhythm in the flow of the book and to emphasize a particularly important image on the right. It was not a mistake on Mr. Payne's part and in fact showed a great sensitivity to the art of making a good photo-book.
     
  7. pixie-alpha

    pixie-alpha 28DL Full Member
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    Well just ordered this book on the strength of your comments :thumb . Just need to hunt down the hard to find Hospital and Asylum Architecture in England, 1840-1914
     
  8. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    This book will make all your uk asylum exploring experiances feel like a total failure! it is intense!
     
  9. dangerous dave

    dangerous dave 28DL Full Member
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    it was on a 10x8 or 5x4 cam one of the two
     
  10. nickg

    nickg Silent Assassin
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  11. badwabbit

    badwabbit 28DL Full Member
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    Thanks for the recommendation - just ordered my copy. Looking forward to it!
     
  12. badwabbit

    badwabbit 28DL Full Member
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    Great book. Very sad pics of Danvers State being demolished though... :(
     
  13. Vintage

    Vintage 28DL Full Member
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    Any links to where you could buy this book would be an advantage? Pref at the cheapest cost ;)
     
  14. badwabbit

    badwabbit 28DL Full Member
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  15. Hidden

    Hidden Get Fucked
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    I was given a copy of this for christmas, some fantastic imagery and write up's within.
     
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