Collaborators: Viva Estampa
In the City of Buenos Aires since 2007, the organization "Viva Estampa" has, as the first of such initiatives, been operating within the framework of an agreement between the Moyano Hospital and the Eduardo Sívori Museum. The project connects the hospital with the museum, linking art, education, culture and mental health.
Viva Estampa sees art as another language for transformation and social inclusion, the development of processes and relational practices for diversity of people with and without severe mental health problems.
Its objective is to develop citizenship skills, cultural and social inclusion as well as health promotion and prevention; demystification of prejudices in general and regarding psychiatric stigmas in particular.
It provides a multiple approach that enables various responses to the problems of this group vulnerable to exclusion, allowing the right to culture, among others. Open the doors of a hospital, those of a museum, those of the city. Open up to people, to people in civil society. Enable new experiences and new social ties. To expand territories and enable others, physical and symbolic.
Viva Estampa has been growing and transforming during its 12 years of existence. Assuming the dynamism of the times, of the institutions, of the subjects and of art.
Inhabiting means much more than locating a body in a place.
Let us think of the concept of "inhabiting" as a process in continuous change, which appeals to the experience that one has in a certain place. The result of this process is the construction of a space where the subject is forming and conforming at the same time.
Viva Estampa is one of the collaborators in this project. With them I consulted the creation of the character and where to put enphasis in the storytelling. After investigating the relationship of the techniques I was planning to use in relation to mental illness and its history, I was informed how art, photography, illustration were an active part of the creation of the mentally ill. For example, photographs of patients from psychiatric institutions also circulated in museums. These institutions create the subject who is empowered to create and consume art and the subject-object of the exhibition.
Who is the subject entitled to create art and who is not? In “The art of insanity”, Hans Prinzhorn collects art from psychiatric patients from the largest hospitals in Europe, analyses these creations and publishes them in this book in 1922. In the prologue of the fourth edition Julia Ramirez tracks how this book was passing from hand to hand by the group of surrealists. Some of the works that appear in the book are very clearly similar to famous works of art belonging to Surrealism.
I decided that Johan, the fictional character of my project, should be an artist. With pencil and paper he would tell his story in the privacy of his room. There he portrays the world from his point of view.