graduation project # 1
As a result of my research on stigmatisation of psychiatric patients, I designed an installation which, in a very subtle way, induces certain symptoms of psychosis. The reflection of the light on the impeccable white walls creates an almost tangible atmosphere of light, and makes it difficult to accurately perceive the contours of the space. This tends to lead to an intimate and unsettling experience, which many spectators describe as strangely comfortable.
Psychosis is one of the most severe psychiatric disorders yet a very common one. Generally described as ‘a loss of contact with reality’, many people experience it as a severely traumatizing event. Though in some cases it’s radically different mode of being-in-the-world can be a cause for positive sensations such as fascination, wonder and even feelings of blissfullness. Before conducting my own experiment with the isolation cell, I was warned that spending long enough time in one of these cells will drive any healthy person to experience symptoms of psychosis. The fact that basically all people share this sensitivity, contrasts the notion of a strict separation between sanity and insanity, and triggered me to design an installation to help others experience how quickly our sense of reality can be altered.