New Criticals

Prison Obscura: Inverting the Inversion to Stand Upright

Camera Obscura means “dark chamber.” A precursor to photography, it is a device that allows light to enter through a pinhole that then projects the outside image onto an opposing internal surface so that it can be traced or captured by a light-sensitive material and preserved. Without mirrors, the image projected is always inverted.

The prison is a dark chamber. Ubiquitous but hidden, it is a device that allows light from the outside to enter only through pinholes.  It captures, freezes, and preserves. On the walls, shadows are traced that mark time and memory. Without mirrors, the image is an inverted reflection of the light outside.