DescriptionWyoming State Death House, 2000
Gelatin silver print
10 by 13 inches on 11-by-14 inch paper
(United States, b. 1959)
Inspired by the sight of a newly constructed person glowing in a nighttime prairie landscape, Stephen Tourlentes began his series of photographs of penitentiaries around the United State in 1996. Tourlentes found the glowing surveillance light of the prison beautiful from a distance yet deterring at close range, forming, as he describes it, “a physical and psychological border that affects those inside and out.” Using an 8-by-10 inch view camera and working at night, Tourlentes created luminescent photographs requiring exposure times ranging from five minutes to two hours. Tourlentes studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and received his MFA (1998) from the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, where he is currently a professor of photography; He received a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 2002.