I find these images utterly terrifying.. I actually question myself for blogging them because freak me out so much. I guess the photographs are just very interesting because they give a glimpse into something I'd never want to see this in real life - completely voyeuristic. They are also the epitomy of something that would inspire a whole body of work for me - no freaking pun intended!
Devlin’s always been one of my favorite photographers. What’s ironic about the titleCorporal Arenas and what’s powerful about this series on the whole (at least to me) is that the corporal subjects are missing, as in her Omega Suites.
These are places of close observation. It isn’t hard to imagine what goes on in them. Bodies are handled, hosed down with water, probed with X-rays, operated on and subjected to autopsy. They’re places we’d rather avoid being drawn into, even through the lens of a camera, and it’s the stark emptiness of the rooms that draws us in a little too close for comfort, making them all the more corporal.
1. Colon Therapy Room,The Homestead Spa, Hot Springs, Virginia
2. Morgue, Outlook Hospital, Summit, New Jersey
3. Classroom, Simmons Mortuary Science School, Syracuse, New York
4. Gross Anatomy Lab, University of California
5. Small Animal Surgery, Veterinary School, University of Ohio
6. Scotch Bath, The Homestead Spa, Hot Springs, Virginia "
“In 1991, Lucinda Devlin began photographing penitentiaries across the United States with the permission and cooperation of local authorities. She entitled the resulting series, completed in 1998, The Omega Suites, — alluding to the final letter of the Greek alphabet as a metaphor for the finality of execution.
Working with a Hasselblad camera and long exposures in existing light, Devlin captured striking images of the architectural spaces in penitentiaries. Viewers are often drawn to her compositions and then repelled by the reality of the subject. The carefully composed and clinically sterile images are as objective as our preconceptions allow.”