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Claudio Cricca | Faceless

This project, begun in 1998, examines the realities of the Italian Hospitals for the Criminally Insane (formerly mental hospitals for the criminally insane). They remain largely unknown even today. The Italian government is dealing with these actually antiquated institutions, which do not have equivalents on the international scene. Because of this, it has been considering the possibility of closing them for some time now. These places are the terminus of society; here live people lost between deliriums and hallucinations, each of them with their own story of violence and humiliation. In these institutions there is a prison regiment, but instead they should be hospitals. There are also more prison guards than nurses. The effect is a structure of a little asylum, a little prison; a monster with two heads, without identity. From the very beginning of the project, I decided to make the inmates almost unrecognizable in my photographs. I tried to make something different in the projects with similar themes and so I try to give a personal touch to my work. Therefore I have elaborated shapes with lights and shadows, bodies and spaces, in search of images which show as strong and incisive emotions as possible. So, in this way, I was able to give an idea of the situation inside the institutes, even without the support of the faces of the inmates. For all these reasons, I gave the project the name “Faceless.”

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