The psychiatric institution Altrecht is situated in a forest. In this forest, a collection of pavilions are hosting therapy spaces, living rooms and support for people with severe psychiatric diagnoses such as the psychotic syndrome. During fall 2015, I wandered through the area of the institution where I engaged myself in relations with people that see shapes that I did not see
(they suffer from delusions),
hear voices that I did not hear
(they suffer from hallucinations)
and wear heavy wools in the midst of summer
(they exhibit bizarre behavior).
I was often present in the therapy rooms where I had lemonade and silent conversations most of them muted by drugs, shyness or the incapacity to verbalize a coherent sentence. In situations where words become affected by hallucinations and delusions, language becomes disorientating and relations take shape through physical, sensual and fragile means of exchange.
TEXT: Notes of my encounters with the psychotic syndrome, 2014
Based on my presence in the therapy spaces, I made notes. These notes describe the interplays that I experienced, things I could see, hear, read or smell. For these written notations I restricted myself by using sentences from a diagnostic interview instrument (CASH) This instrunent is used by therapists to observe, analyse and diagnose people with a psychotic syndrome. From these texts I selected sentences and I erased the words that did not describe perceptible qualities.
Notation in text fragment out of CASH, an interview and instrument for documenting the signs, symptoms, and history of subjects of psychoses and affective disorders
Text, 3 pages, 2014
After my encounters in the therapy rooms I wrote a text "I propose.."
Here you can download a PDF of the text
Performance reading, 15 minutes, 2015
I performed this text in one of therapy rooms. Whilst reading the text I positioned myself in a disorientating posture that increased in intensity during the reading and affected the words I uttered.
TURN ON YOUR HEALS AND GO BACKWARDS BEFORE PENETRATING INTO SUCH WASTELANDS. LISTEN WELL TO WHAT I SAY: TURN ON YOUR HEELS AND GO BACK, NOT FORWARD,[..]
Guided walk through the area of the institution, guided by Shirly, an inhabitant, 1 hour, 2014
Water, sugar vaseline, diameter 360, duration 24 hours, 2014
Parallel to my reading, I displaced the distribution of lemonade that is offered to the patients in the therapy spaces every day. I distributed this lemonade accompanied by saying the words (repeatedly): Here you are, lemonade. Here, you are lemonade. Simultaneously, the lemonade was highlighted in a sculpture of sugar dissolving in water on the floor of the therapy space.