Photography of Execution Chambers

Im Moment geht die fast zwanzig Jahre alte Fotoserie „The Omega Suites“ von Lucinda Devlin durchs Netz. Die hat Anfang der 90er systematisch Gaskammern, elektrische Stühle und Todeszellen in ganz Amerika fotografierte. „Omega“ bezieht sich auf die Bedeutung des griechichen Buchstabens: „Omega wird häufig verwendet, um ein Ende zu verdeutlichen und ist damit das Gegenteil vom Anfang, dem Alpha (Alpha und Omega oder „Das A und O“). (Wikipedia)“.

Vor zehn Jahren veröffentlichte sie einen Bildband zum Projekt, hier ein paar Bilder daraus, hier die Website des Verlags, Snip aus dem Text einer Ausstellung:

Between 1991 and 1998 Lucinda Devlin photographed in penitentiaries in twenty states, with the permission and cooperation of the local authorities. She called the resulting series The Omega Suites, alluding to the final letter of the Greek alphabet as a metaphor for the finality of execution. The series includes thirty chilling color photographs of execution chambers and associated spaces, such as holding cells and viewing rooms. With over 3000 inmates on death row and 70 percent of US citizens supporting the death penalty, The Omega Suites brings focus to one of the great ethical questions facing contemporary Americans, about which public opinion continues to be passionate.

Working with a Hasselblad camera and long exposures in existing light, Devlin created surprisingly beautiful images. Viewers are often drawn by this beauty and then repelled by the reality of the subject. Devlin expresses an interest in "let[ting] the environments themselves communicate directly with viewers," and the carefully composed and clinically sterile images are, indeed, as objective as our preconceptions allow.

Amazon-Partnerlink: The Omega Suites (Steidl collectors books) (via Martin)