These completely surreal images were created by request for the inmates of Tamms Correctional Center in Illinois, a detention centre which was designed to leave prisoners in complete isolation. Originally meant to leave inmates in the centre for one year due to disruptive behaviour, many were left there indefinitely which caused much outcry from protesters against these inhumane conditions.
Existing in concrete rooms measuring 7x12ft for 23 hours a day for months, years or even decades would surely have a profound effect on the prisoners mental health especially as many were already on death row. The restriction of almost all human contact and so much sensory and visual stimulation has led to the creation of these images by a collective of protesters against super max prisons. The images requested varied from photographs of themselves superimposed onto various landscapes, Jennifer Lopez’s backside, their old neighbourhoods and to completely imagined scenarios.
The Tamms Correctional Centre was finally closed on the 4th of January 2013.
You can read an interview with Laurie Jo Reynolds on the Huffington post here, one of the leading artists involved with the project named Photo Requests from Solitary . An exhibition of these photographs will also be on view at Photoville until September 29, located at Pier Five in Brooklyn Bridge Park.