Portrait of a Heart by Christian Schloe
Binh Danh: Ancestral Altars
Using found photographs from the Khmer Rouge era, Binh Danh imprints the images on leaves through photosynthesis, creating a powerful link between the present and the past by alluding to the jungles that the war was fought in.
In 1975-79, almost 2 million people lost their lives to murder and famine when the Khmer Rouge forced the urban population into the countryside to fulfill their ideal of an agrarian society. The Khmer Rouge—organized by their leader Pol Pot—arrested, tortured, and eventually executed anyone suspected of belonging to several categories of supposed “enemies,” such as foreigners who were ethnic Vietnamese. In a Security Prison coded-named S-21, which was once a schoolhouse, 14,000 men, women and children were tortured and killed. Their testimony was meticulously documented to justify their execution. When Cambodia was liberated by the Vietnamese in 1979, barely a dozen survived S-21.
While visiting this museum, I documented much of the interior. I roamed the rooms and hallways and imagined the horror taking place in front of me. As part of the the victims’ testimony, photographs were made of them. Today, what is left of the memories of these people are rooms and rooms of those portraits. The portraits are witnesses to history and they speak to us, holding us accountable. To honor these lives, I made altars of the dead—a place where we can meditate on history, the present moment, and our own mortality. I believe that even when faced with the truth that we will die someday, we can live a good life and do good for others.
These continuity Polaroids offer a glimpse into a deleted scene from The Shining.
In the finished film, the scene of Wendy and Danny exploring the hedge maze is intercut with shots of Jack wandering the hotel, bored and suffering from writer’s block. As originally filmed, Jack then wandered to the balcony overlooking the Colorado Lounge, and glanced down to his writing table to see something that hadn’t been there previously — a large scrapbook. Jack’s typewriter, paper, cigarettes, pens, etc. were mysteriously arranged in a quasi-Native American design on the floor leading to the table and the scrapbook.
Jack went to down to investigate and found that the scrapbook was full of newspaper clippings from the Overlook Hotel’s lurid past. He became entranced with it.
The scrapbook figured in several other deleted scenes, and provided the original inspiration for Jack to finally begin writing. Most of the scenes with the scrapbook have been omitted in the final film, though there are still some lingering shots where the scrapbook lies on Jack’s writing table, unexplained.