» Visual Art
This series of photographs examines the abandoned prison cells of Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Penitentiary subscribed to a theory of rehabilitation that proscribed confinement and a lack of interaction with other inmates. This ran counter to the prevailing system in the United States at the time where harsh physical punishment was the norm. Ideas of church and religious experience are embodied in the building and served as a guide for how prisoners should be rehabilitated: hallways looked like that of a church; low doorways required one to bow and seek penance from a greater power; and a single small skylight, acting as the “eye of God” lit each cell.