Photographer Matt McDonough: Abandoned Psychiatric Hospitals

Matt McDonough (from: http://www.mattmcdphoto.com)

There seems to be quite a bit of interest among photographers in visiting closed asylums.  The New York Times has a short photo essay by Matt McDonough on abandoned psychiatric hospitals, along with links to photographs taken by Claudio Edinger and Christopher Payne.  Unlike the photographer Slyv – who has also taken photographs of abandoned facilities and whose online exhibit was recently reviewed here by Carla Yanni – McDonough does not sneak into these sites.  In addition, his curiosity leads him to ask questions about the former inhabitants as well as about the policies behind de-institutionalization.  In light of Yanni’s comments, however, one can’t help but notice the idiom (both visual and textual) of the uncanny in these accounts, as terms like “haunted” and “creepy” occupy a prominent place in the descriptions.

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