Photographs of Jails, Schools, and other Chicago Buildings
Distributed for Columbia College Chicago Press
From schools to churches to prisons, Fortino transforms these worn, familiar edifices into compelling symbols of long-lost ideals and communitarian spirit. Fortino coaxes out the subtle warmth and depths of these often overwhelming and pitiless public spaces in his photographs, as his camera reveals the hidden characters of both high-profile works by renowned designers such as Rem Koolhaas, Helmut Jahn, and Mies van der Rohe as well as the stolid structures designed by long-forgotten architects. Light, color, and composition work together in Fortino's images to produce provocative new perspectives on the interiors of public buildings, revealing how their cultural and social roles as places of worship, education, punishment, or entertainment cast long and complex shadows over our lives.
Fortino challenges us in Institutional to rethink our view of the public spaces we pass through every day by offering an original and fascinating photographic study of the settings in which the important events of human life unfold.
“Scott Fortino’s pictures manage to convince us that these cold, lifeless institutions are full of light, color, and playful, formal possibility. In fact, he convinces us that lifelessness and playfulness can exist in equal measure. That’s why we keep looking, it’s so hard to believe.”--Paul D’Amato, professor, Columbia College Chicago
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About the Author and the Essayist