Another Place, My Life
Guest exhibition with new work from The Fifth Season, a residency program that offers artists the possibility of living and working in the psychiatric institution of Altrecht for a season.
With work by Anne Daems, Lado Darakhvelidze, Doris Denekamp & Geert van Mil, Voebe de Gruyter, Domenico Mangano & Marieke van Rooy and Jantine Wijnja. Curated by Esther Vossen.
So close by yet at the same time invisible: NEMESIS research – GGZ in tabellen (Mental healthcare in tables) – published by the Trimbos Institute reveals that almost half (42.7%) of the Dutch population will have mental health issues at some point in their lives. Some of these people stay in a psychiatric institution temporarily for treatment and therapy. What is that like? The Another Place, My Life exhibition shows the visions and observations of artists about this subject.
The works of art in Another Place, My Life are the result of intensive observation and were created in conjunction with patients and staff of the Altrecht psychiatric institution near Utrecht. Altrecht has been offering professional artists the chance to create new work in the context of The Fifth Season artist-in-residence programme since 1998. These artists live and work in The Fifth Season’s studio dwelling within the institution’s grounds at Den Dolder. The works are shaped by a close reading of psychiatry and are therefore unique interpretations of the sometimes unfamiliar life at the institution.
Everyday life in an institution is traditionally insulated from the rest of society. At the same time there are always links between the institution and the outside world, on account of the generally temporary character of the stay. Patients usually return to their own homes. During their residency, the artists in this presentation investigated what it is like to stay in such an institution temporarily. They created work about the institution, the grounds and its history. Other artists zoomed in on the meaning of the concept of ‘home’ in psychiatry and the visibility of psychiatric patients within society. The works of art are the artistic interpretation of the sojourn in an institution and reveal the mental and physical space of people with a mental illness.