Images from psychiatric hospitals throughout Italy, 1979.
"I saw a voluptuous woman, naked and fleshless, gnawed by foul toads, sucked by serpents, coupled with a fat-bellied satyr whose gryphon legs were covered with wiry hairs, howling its own damnation from an obscene throat; and I saw a miser, stiff in the stiffness of death on his sumptuously columned bed, now helpless prey of a cohort of demons, one of whom tore from the dying man’s mouth his soul in the form of an infant (alas, never to be again born to eternal life); and I saw a proud man with a devil clinging to his shoulders and thrusting his claws into man’s eyes, while two gluttons tore each other apart in a repulsive hand-to-hand struggle and other creatures as well, goat head and lion fur, panther’s jaws, all prisoners in a forest of flames whose searing breath I could almost feel….
….And stunned (almost) by that sight; uncertain at this point whether I was in a friendly place or in the valley of the last judgment, I was terrified and could hardly restrain my tears, and I seemed to hear (or did I really hear?) that voice and I saw those visions that had accompanied my youth as a novice, my first reading of the sacred books, and my nights of meditation in the choir of Melk, and in the delirium of my weak and weakened senses I heard a voice mighty as a trumpet that said….”
Insane imagery in Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose. The young monk Adso admires the door of the church.
A young Andrei Tarkovsky wearing a tie his sister fashioned from one of her old dresses.