Matthew Belanger

new media artist

Billy

Billy See the work at: matthewbelanger.net/works/billy

Billy, a collaboration between my mother and myself, is the telling of her brother's tragic life through found letters, documents, and photographs. Billy was born, before my mother, in 1940. Shortly after his birth he was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus, a serious brain condition, and was institutionalized as a child. His existence, a secret within the family for many years, was only fully known when my mother discovered evidence of Billy's life while cleaning out her grandmother's attic. Hand written letters reveal the thoughts of a family first elated by the birth of a child, and then sick with worry as he is diagnosed and ultimately institutionalized.

We built this interactive documentary as an acknowledgement of his life and as a tribute to his memory in 2003.