Documentary and Street Photographer David Horton is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography. From the project ‘Invisible Wall’. To see David’s body of work, click on any image.
In 1962, acclaimed architect, Paul Rudolph, began design work on the Erich Lindemann Mental Health Center, one of two buildings that comprise the Government Service Center in Boston. Construction began in 1966 and ceased in 1971. The building remains unfinished; the full design was never realized. The structure is currently in a state of disrepair.
Rudolph believed that “architecture is used space formed for psychological and symbolical reasons.” With the Lindemann Center, he had hoped to create an environment that would reflect the interior mental states of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia, and schizophrenia. With a romanticized view of mental illness, Rudolph made the building “insane” in order to express the insanity within.
In 2013, I began photographing and interviewing residents of the Lindemann Center. My intention was to document people living within the walls of Rudolph’s creation. Initially, the building and Rudolph’s flawed design philosophy drew me to the project, but as time progressed, I realized the real motivation was to confront my own fears surrounding mental illness.
My intention with this project is to raise awareness of both the building and the broader issues and misconceptions of mental illness. My goal is to create a book and a public exhibition at the completion of this project. My hope is to inform, educate, and help destigmatize those suffering from mental illness. My dream is that awareness from this project will start a discussion about reimagining The Lindemann Center as a healthier and more restorative environment for those suffering with mental illness.
All images © David Horton
By David Horton