By Charly SHELTON
Rockhaven Sanitarium is the subject of a new photography exhibition at Gallery 417 in Downtown L.A. Photographer Jason House has taken photos of the sanitarium as an empty, abandoned and hauntingly beautiful place.
“I’ve done photo series in the past about foreclosure victims and fatality car crashes or even a documentary about an all female moped gang,” said House. “And from the outside it would seem that they’re all different subjects, but at their core, they’re all moments in an individual’s time – an ever-passing, ever-shifting time, ever-changing time.”
The exhibit is a preview of his forthcoming coffee-table style book that will feature historical photos alongside his modern ones.
“We make our small dents in our own personal universes then we move on; I try to make monuments from those dents in a way, monuments that feel both inspiring and simultaneously tragic,” he said. “The Japanese call this tension between what is and what will inevitably pass, this life cycle, ‘Mono No Aware’ and much of their historical culture and art is built around it. For me, it’s something I’ve felt and been interested in for a long time, I just didn’t have a name for it. I suppose the concept of ‘nostalgia’ is a close cousin.”
House’s photographs will hang in Gallery 417, in the historic Los Angeles Subway Terminal building. He added that the coffee-table style book will include notes, letters, memorabilia and first person accounts from the Rockhaven Sanitarium when it was active and thriving.
Gallery 417 is located at 417 S. Hill St in Downtown L.A., and the exhibition runs from Aug. 13 through Sept. 8.