Islands of Madness

Kakelhallen, Mariehamn,Aland, Finland, 3 March-4 April 2012
We started a series of exhibitions in the wake of our film A Long History of Madness in Finland, with Landscapes of Madness in Turku. Now we return to Finland, close to Turku yet so far from it, on the large, Swedish-speaking island of Åland. This closes the circle. In September we will have another exhibition based on this project, but that is going to be very different.
In Mariehamn, Åland, we foreground an aspect of the project that was inspired by the setting of some of the scenes on an island. The confining former psychiatric hospital on Seili / Sjalö has inspired ideas about landscape, and the installation piece Sissi Outside is based on the “island syndrom”.
We present nine works in a square space, set on round pieces of carpet suggestive of islands. Here we want to focus on the aspect of the film where the problematic, echoing sound renders the isolation of patients. The beautiful poster Helinä Hukkataival has designed for this exhibition renders that isolation visually, by means of the self-reflection in which Sissi is caught up. And as we know from the film, Sissi is not continuously so self-enclosed. At moments she is able to exit the tunnel of self-confinement and communicate with her analyst. This exhibition aims to show both these states: the enclosure in the ostracized madness, and the liberation in a creative potential to come out of the enclosure.
The “islands” are also thematic units. Our themes in this exhibition are: Folly Resurfaces; the physical world; social bonds; transgenerational trauma; actual analytic treatment; old history haunts the present. The following page explains these thematic units.

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the islands
Installation views

Poster, designed by Helinä Hukkataival
Curator Mervi Appel