In order to offer entertainment to the patients at the asylum, the planners of Norwich State Hospital built this elaborate theatre, with a stage for performances and, later, movies. There was an organ to accompany silent films, and a full projection booth - from which this photograph was taken. On the floor below was a rollerskating rink. Sadly, a few years back, this building was demolished - along with the power plant and two of the most historic buildings on the campus - for little apparent reason. Currently, nothing has been done with the space that millions of dollars were spent clearing these buildings off of.
“In New York, where I grew up and where I live and work, I feel acutely aware of the passage of time and the changes left in its wake. Living in a mutable, fast paced city like New York is, in itself, a surreal experience. At times, the world passes us by in soft focus, where details fall to the wayside and the overall tone of our environment is what characterizes our experience of the city. At other times, we find ourselves raptured by specific details, when we focus intently and intensely on the object of our affection and interest.
“My work attempts to capture this variation in experience, by bringing to the forefront the altered reality in which we live. In the city’s moments of tranquility, especially at dusk and when night falls, the looming shapes, diffused light and spectral shadows infuse the recurrent transition with a hushed feeling of magic and anticipation that I seek to capture in my photographs.
“In my newest body of work I turn away from the soft focus, which characterized much of my earlier imagery. In these photographs of the city, there is a very precise, almost hyper-real quality. I am exploring the fine line between urban reality and architectural fiction though surreal portraits of buildings.”
- Marc Yankus