Posts Tagged ‘Ward 81’

Vice Photo Annual Review

So, I’ve been stewing over this Vice photo annual for a week or so. Not quite sure what to write. I was slightly disappointed to see the number of hyper-masculine images that graced the pages. I felt like there were an overwhelming number of McGinley nude hipster (no offense to McGinley’s beautiful work), meets American Apparel girls, meets the NRA.  One exception that I really appreciated was the Mary Ellen Mark interview. Her work has always intrigued me. Her photo essays are poignant and full of emotion. Vice focused on Streetwise, her photos of homeless kids in Seattle, but I’m partial to her images from Ward 81. We are famous in Oregon for Ken Kesey’s book ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST and it’s portrayal of the Oregon State Asylum. In 1975, Mark was assigned by a magazine to do a story on the making of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, shot on location at the Oregon State Hospital, a mental institution. While there, she met, briefly, the women of Ward 81. She later made them the subjects of her 1979 book Ward 81, where she lived and documented female patients. The work is disturbing, moving and haunting.