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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathDouglas

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degenerated into a ghost town and that is where Douglas' story picks up the thread. The exterior shots show the Herman Gardens district, one of America's largest public housing projects when built in the 1940s for the white population. Black families began to move into the empty buildings in the 1950s and '60s, before moving out in droves or being evicted when almost all welfare programs were cut back or canceled under the Reagan administration in the course of the 1980s. Today, street gangs rule a quarter that is as good as dead, where buildings awaiting demolition serve drug dealers as crack houses. No longer a safe area, it is seen as a «blight» on the city, a no-go area the guide-books earnestly advise tourists not to visit. In his photo-series, Stan Douglas comprehends the views of the city as evidence of a catastrophe of civilization on a mythical scale, the evidence of its dimensions gradually being covered up by nature. He shows the authentic versions of the ruins and deserts until now invented and luxuriantly depicted on the sets of Hollywood special-effects movies such as «Planet of the Ape» (Franklin J. Schaffner, 1968, USA) or «Logan's Run» (Michael Anderson, 1976, USA).


A ghost story

Linking the history of Herman Gardens with that of its black population, Douglas draws on «The Haunting of Hill House» to recount his tale. Only the final e distinguishes Eleanore, his film protagonist, from Eleanor, the novel's heroine. In the book, Eleanor spends some time in a house alleged to be haunted. The identity of a former inhabitant of the house begins to superimpose itself over her own, attempts to become at one with her, to keep her imprisoned in the house in a different age forces her into a time loop, one might say. The tale is vastly impressive for the way it describes the house as a living organism whose history has taken on a life of its own and also for its refusal to draw a clear line between Eleanor's trains of thought and the phenomenal occurrences in the house, together with their possible interpretation even as figments of the heroine's imagination. The reader can never be sure whether a vivid imagination is causing the woman to lose her sanity or the spirit of the house is in fact taking control of her identity. Stan Douglas not only makes the over-layering process

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