Brooklyn – Heights
June 3rd – July 1 2011
Distillery Gallery and Art Space
7 Hutton Street
Jersey City, NJ 07307
It was a bitterly cold December day in 2006 when I first walked through the Essex County Prison in North Caldwell, New Jersey. I had been hired to photograph over 100 4×5 film images of the Jail Annex complex (builit in the 1870’s), using the HABS (Historic American Buildings Survey) guidelines set up by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, before the 32-acre site was to be demolished. Although the sun was bright, the deserted prison complex appeared like a forbidding ruin with concealed memories etched deeply into the stone walls.
In the Distillery Gallery exhibition are two of these images that reveal unspoken stories about the buildings and the thousands of imprisoned, now ghostly inhabitants.
Their presence is felt, not only in the discarded objects, graffiti drawings and magazine pin-ups that remained attached to the cell walls, but in the very essence of the structures themselves.
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