Malformed – Forgotten Brains of the Texas Mental Hospital Copyright 2014 Adam Voorhes
Photographer: Adam Voorhes (born San Jose, CA, resides Austin, TX, USA)
Publisher: powerhouse Books (USA)
Essay: Alex Hannaford
Hardcover book with dust jacket, sewn binding, four-color lithography, printed in China
Photobook designer: DJ Stout & Stu Taylor (TX)
Notes: I obtained this book due to my own fascination with memory and our attempts to preserve it. The brain is where memory both occurs and resides and memory essentially defines who we are. With physical defects of the brain resulting from issues at birth, personal choices we make, an accident or perhaps a disease or condition that had been lurking which has become fully manifest, the ability to have an effective memory in conjunction with cognitive thinking can be at risk. Interestingly, while photographing his subject, Voorhes metaphorically found that many of the his subjects had identification labels that could no longer be read, thus representing a true lost memory. While these elegant photographs may be difficult to view, both due to the morbid nature of how the brains were obtained and the state that his subjects are in as well as the fact that being examples of deformed brains, these beautiful photographs challenge the viewer to reflect on the lives and memories that these individuals attempted to have.