MATTHEW SWARTS MYSTERY SCHOOL karen copake new york 1999
Karen, Copake, New York, 1999.

“I came to Camphill Village when I was 20. Now I’m 58. Not everybody in our village is mentally ill, but we all have disabilities, and sometimes we get on each other’s nerves. Usually I smile, but in that photograph I was just waking up from my rest hour. I read, and I listen to my radio, and I sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep.

“May I tell you one thing? I don’t like taking medicine. It gets me too dopey and too sleepy and too tired, not enough energy. I need to have it, but I wish I didn’t. Some people don’t take anything. Some people can go and live in the city on their own and nothing happens to them. I’m pretty weak to live on my own and get around on my own because I don’t know what will happen. I just don’t know why some people can do better than other people. Why is that?” .

Karen Edna Wallstein, as interviewed by Catherine St. Louis for The New York Times Magazine.

MATTHEW SWARTS MYSTERY SCHOOL nico copake new york 1999
Nico, Copake, New York, 1999.

Mystery School uses photographs, sounds, looped video clips, drawings, and writings to present a collaborative portrait of people who live and work with autism, epilepsy, down’s syndrome, and other cognitive and perceptual disabilities, I am most deeply interested in creating spaces where we might see and accept parts of a greater wholeness.

 

MATTHEW SWARTS MYSTERY SCHOOL bobby copake new york 2000
Bobby, Copake, New York, 2000.
MATTHEW SWARTS MYSTERY SCHOOL susan copake new york 1999
Susan, Copake, New York, 1999.
MATTHEW SWARTS MYSTERY SCHOOL jessica on her bed pennsylania 2000
Jessica on her bed, Pennsylvania, 2000.
MATTHEW SWARTS MYSTERY SCHOOL jessica pennsylvania 2000
Jessica, Pennsylvania, 2000.
MATTHEW SWARTS MYSTERY SCHOOL christina in the grass copake new york 2001
Christina in the grass, Copake, New York, 2001.
MATTHEW SWARTS MYSTERY SCHOOL danny pennsylvania 2000
Danny, Pennsylvania, 2000.
MATTHEW SWARTS MYSTERY SCHOOL chris copake new york 1999
Chris, Copake, New York, 1999.
MATTHEW SWARTS MYSTERY SCHOOL chris letter to his dead grandmother copake new york 1999
Letter, Copake, New York, 1999.
MATTHEW SWARTS MYSTERY SCHOOL fetal dawings pennsylvania 2000
Drawings, Pennsylvania, 2000.
MATTHEW SWARTS MYSTERY SCHOOL tyrone pennsylvania 2000
Tyrone, Pennsylvania, 2000.
MATTHEW SWARTS MYSTERY SCHOOL bill copake new york 2000
Bill, Copake, New York, 2000.
MATTHEW SWARTS MYSTERY SCHOOL lissy painting copake new york 1999
Painting, Copake, New York, 1999.
MATTHEW SWARTS MYSTERY SCHOOL lissy copake new york 1999
Lissy, Copake, New York, 1999.
MATTHEW SWARTS MYSTERY SCHOOL patty copake new york 2000
Patty, Copake, New York, 2000.
MATTHEW SWARTS MYSTERY SCHOOL christina and her tree copake new york 2001
Christina and her tree, Copake, New York, 2001.