Joe Sparrow / Illustrator - Animator - Designer / 07758224292 /

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

bodies in flight

Marsha Hiltibrand - Portland, Oregon, 1972.

Clarence Sims - New York, New York, 1952.

Looking for some reference photos the other day, my dad lent me this book entitled "Violence In Our Time", which is just a sort of odd history of violence in the 20th Century told in black-and-white photographs.

Unknown - Brunswick, Germany, 1964.

A whole chapter is dedicated to suicides, but it's dealt with with surprising sensitivity. None of the people you can see photographed here are actually dead; each photograph has the (most likely unintentional) serendipity of capturing one of the split-second moments where the subject is in flight towards the ground.

Calunda Mora - Sao Paolo, Brazil, 1968.

John Wards - New York, New York, 1949.

If any of these were accidental I don't think I'd like looking at them, but all of them are apparently suicides.

Joseph Slavin - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1962.

I thought about it and I don't think this is disrespectful in any way, or not enough to bother me about posting these pictures. Hopefully you guys will find them interesting rather than disgusting.

Merle Bibbs - Indianapolis, Indiana, 1952.


Kris said...

This is what my nightmares look like

Scary stuff!

Anonymous said...

the only thing more mortifying than a black and white picture, is a black and white picture of death itself. These are very powerful, and a source for a lot of interpretation. thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Marsha Hiltibrand was my younger sister, see photograph 1. She was 23 when she committed suicide by jumping off the balcony of the
12th floor of the Meyer and Frank building in downtown Portland, which is now Macy's. She saw three "people" with her on the ledge that nobody else could see. An African American dentist from an office across the street came and tried for 45 minutes to convince Marsha to come inside. His brother was a star football player attending a university in Oklahoma. May 5th was the aniversary of Marsha's death. She developed mental health issues after becoming involved with Silva Mind Control. They told her she could think a live bear into the room, or randomly open a phone book, choose an address and be able to see the house and family who lived there in her mind. I'm sure she was looking for meaning in her life as many young people do, as I did, and there is plenty of room for confusion in an inexperienced mind. Marsha may have had chemical or other mental dysfunction but in those days people did not pay for a friend to talk to when they had problems (therapists). There is more to the story, but enough has been said here. It is good to remember my sister and hear the song we used to sing together that we learned at girl scout camp, Ash Grove.

Joe Sparrow said...

Wow, I have no idea whether this is genuine (or text taken from an article or something similar, no disrespect intended if it is) but this was very interesting to read. Thanks.

Marian said...

I do telephone interviews for a state employment department in order to determine whether or not claimants, (the person applying for benefits), qualify for unemployment insurance benefits. I talk to employers and people who quit or are fired from their jobs. I write legal decisions to allow or deny benefits. I hear little slices of stories of humanity from claimants. They lie to me over the phone all day. They lie because they need benefits, which do not come from check witholding but from employer taxes. Many times claimants blame the employer instead of their own actions. There is a common thread to each claimant's story it seems. Claimant's want to tell me their whole story of when they started working for an employer, what happened over the years, how the employer wronged them etc. This indicates to me that many people have no one to process this stuff with. We're a society of isolated people. Our communication is often on a surface level. Where is the connection between heart and heart? Where can we talk about our hurts, deficiencies, weaknesses? We have to look good. Where is the sense of hope? Had my sister Marsha, (or any of the people pictures here), had a source of hope and people to talk things out with on a daily basis maybe they wouldn't have jumped. As humans we each other this service, to listen to others who share this human experience when we are presented with opportunities to do so. People trapped in their own minds with their own thoughts are walking in an unsafe neighborhood.