Cure #5
a collaborative project by Antone Dolezal + Lara Shipley

Cure #5 is set in the Victorian spa town of Eureka Springs, AR, a place founded on the desire for magical healing. During the Great Depression, in the height of economic despair, a stranger promised to bring salvation in the form of an empty hotel, converted to a cancer curing hospital. Only the man was not a doctor, and his trademark cure, Cure #5, could not heal.

The story of the valley town is not unusual. Opportunities have always lay waiting in desperation for those without the moral qualms to resist. We recognized in this history parallels with America today; a place that continues to suffer from economic instability, questionable truths driving political discourse, and dangerous magical thinking that offers easy solutions to complex realities.

Inspired by superstition, the story of a trickster that is part truth and part myth, and a hotel that was once the illusion of a hospital, Cure #5 explores the fine line between reality and illusion that can be used to marvel or exploit. It aims to challenge our faith in manufactured saviors and the evidence we implore to make sense of the world. By giving a glimpse into this small corner of America’s past, we seek to unveil a world that exposes the wonder, trauma and eccentric realities reverberating across contemporary America today.

For more of Lara Shipley’s work, visit: