Centers In Pain | Jasper Spicero
Wapato prison is a maximum security facility built 9 years ago in Portland, Oregon. After it’s completion in 2004 Wapato was abandoned due to a lack of operating funds. It has been idle and in pristine condition for 10 years and has never once housed inmates, remaining empty aside from a small janitorial staff that maintains the plumbing and washes dusty bed sheets. Occasionally a film crew is allowed to enter for a small fee.
To carry out Centers In Pain, Jasper Spicero rented Wapato for 4 days. The project culminated in a short film, a screenplay for an imaginary movie, and documentation of the sculptures installed in the prison.
EXT. FLOWER COMPLEX
becomes visible that the roads and cul-de-sacs form a simple
flower shape. Like a child’s drawing. At the center is a
CENTERS IN PAIN
EXT. COMPLEX XIV
This house, like all the others, is plastic white with blue
and grey details. Piles of old snow in the yard.
The front door has a hexagon window covered by black plastic
from the inside. Someone opens the door. It is a boy, 5
years, with grey eyes, wearing denim overalls.
EXT. COMPLEX XIV – BACKYARD
A jacket lying on the ground with a badge sewn to the arm
that reads ‘JUDITH 14’. The boy’s shoes enter the frame.
He picks up the jacket.
Judith walks away from Martha’s voice toward a modular
Half-melted snow with footprints. Trees tangled in dead
vines. It is raining.
We follow Judith into the woods. He is now carrying an entry
shotgun. Shoe laces dragging behind him through slush.
We see LISA through a layer of old growth woods.
Her running clothes are distressed. She is wearing
You’re going to be alright.
Lisa staggers behind him exhausted. After awhile Judith stops.
Turns to her.
She steps backwards and trips over a tree branch. A single
earphone falls out. We hear the faint sound of ‘Shane’s Theme’.
Holds her hand up like shielding her eyes from sunlight.
INT. COMPLEX XIV
Through a honeycomb shaped window on the second floor we see
Judith emerge from the woods wearing black earphones. His
jacket is missing. He kneels to tie his shoes.
After its completion in 2004 it was
abandoned due to a lack of operating
funds. I’m one of three maintenance
workers at the facility. A 10-ton iron
sculpture that looks like the skeleton
of an oil tanker is sinking into the
courtyard and destroying the
underground drainage system that
passes sewage to the nearest waste
Still image of Judith’s untied shoe laces.
A DROP OF MEDICINE
INT. COMPLEX XIV – LIVING ROOM
Martha sits staring into space on an aging designer sofa for preventive medicines.
She is mid-forties, blond hair, wearing a ragged shirt and
Hands in her lap with spots of pale light from an open
10 DAYS AGO
Judith is stopped halfway down the living room staircase
turned toward Martha. She is frozen in thought.
He descends the staircase and stands by her side.
He grabs her leg and shakes it. Martha squints as though she
just woke up. Shields her eyes from the pale light with a
couple of days.
Sets the pillow onto the floor. Kneels to Judith’s height. A
cloudy look on her face like a hospital patient’s. Places a
slender hand on his shoulder.
is a drop of medicine. Even you
a tiny star.
We hear the sound of a faucet turning off and on in the next
The kitchen sink sprays water than abruptly stops. Starts
again. Stops. Above the sink is a window without glass. Snow
is falling. A plane goes by.
BLOOD IN THE SNOW
EXT. COMPLEX XII
A young man standing in a snowy driveway. This is Shane.
of the tower. We need food. I have a
PAN FROM SHANE TO VAGRANT:
Lying on the ground. Blood dripping from his nose. One eye swollen shut.
INT. COMPLEX XIV – JUDITHS ROOM
Judith lying in his bed listening to a hand-held tape recorder.
We hear a voice through the speaker.
Judith stands up. Passes by a bedside table with a picture frame
turned face down. Walks to his window to see Shane
towering over Vagrant.
EXT. COMPLEX XII
You let Flower Complex change you.
Honey approaches Shane and places a hand on his shoulder.
She is tall with long, brown hair in a pony tail.
you or Judy. He’s obviously lying. I wouldn’t
hurt him if he needed food for a hungry child.
Still image of Shane with Honey behind him. A number eight
Tattoo Aftercare. His eyes half open.
10 DAYS AGO
INT. DETECTIVES CAR
Two men inside a moving black sedan with dark windows. Beige
leather interior. The man in the passenger’s seat turns to
Detective WINTERS stares straight ahead silently.
we were kids to stargaze from
up in that tower.
EXT. COMPLEX XII
The detective’s pull into the driveway. License
plate SG13 71U. Honey’s face watching them through the
hexagon window on the front door. They get out of their
vehicle. DETECTIVE 2 lights a cigarette.
bloody snow in your driveway.
She cracks the door.
Her name is Lisa.
INT. COMPLEX XII – LIVING ROOM
Honey sits opposite the detectives. WINTERS is holding a
cup of coffee.
he goes to COMPLEX VIII?
WINTERS spills coffee on his tie.
INT. COMPLEX XII
Shane is kneeling beside a slim rectangle table pushed against
a wall near the front door.
White, blue and grey answering machine.
is anyone else apparently. Which is
strange because we usually are here
but not today. Anyway, leave a message
and I promise that we will get back
He grabs a tangle of chords from beneath the table and pulls them
toward his chest.
INT. MARTHAS VAN – APF3915
Still image of a younger Martha sitting in the backseat.
She is wearing a black turtle neck underneath a spinal
brace that looks like scaffolding.
better part of my life. One boy was
especially bright. I can’t remember
his name which is strange. I usually
remember the names of my patients.
EXT. CENTER TOWER
Construction workers wandering around with rolled up plans.
Martha at the base of the tower looking up.
AERIAL SHOT A crane placing windows into center tower.
A pick-up truck towing a housing module.