Mad Marginal

antipsychiatry tradition and marginality as artistic position

A seminar by Dora García with Stefano Graziani, Cesare Pietroiusti, Nicola Valentino. 
Mad Marginal is a project undertaken by the artist last November, with the homonymous text published in Peep-Hole Sheet #03 (Mousse Publishing) dealing with the idea of marginality as a political position in art, its contradictions, and its beauty. García recognized then the similarities between antipsychiatry, Antonin Artaud and Jack Smith (the underground film-maker that the artist reveres). Mad Marginal consists of a series of workshops, seminars and performances; of an archive research on historical documentation; of a curatorial exercise focusing on projects by contemporary artists; of the participation of the artist to the Faenza Contemporary Art Festival; of a publication and a short experimental film. The final presentation of the project will take place at the Fondazione Galleria Civica-Centro di Ricerca sulla Contemporaneità di Trento, with the launch and preview of the publication and the experimental film within the Trentoship and projects. 

The project is prompted by Dora García’s readings of the writings of Franco Basaglia, psychiatrist and researcher, promoter on 1978 of Italian Law 180, allowing Italy to be one of the first countries in the world to abolish mental hospitals and becoming a laboratory of experimentation for the treatments of mental illness.. Mad Marginal wants to research a form of artistic practice, using the tradition of antipsychiatry and very specially the named “Basaglian revolution” as a prism to look at certain cases of artists who have consciously chosen to remain outside the mainstream.

Dora García (Valladolid, Spain, 1965) lives and works in Brussels. Her work, conceptual in nature, consists of text, photographs, and installations restricted to a specific location. Often drawing on participation and performance, the artist presents reality as multiple and questionable and explores the relationship between the artist, the work, and the public. She participated to biennials in Athens, Lyon (2009), Sidney and Seville (2008) and to Münster Sculpture Projects (2007). Solo shows were held at CGAC in Santiago de Compostela (2009), at Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig (2007) and at SMAK in Gent (2006).

Participants to the seminar will be Stefano Graziani, artist and researcher, who will talk about the influence of the “Basaglian revolution” in the cultural climate in Italy, as he has researched previously for his project The Franco Basaglia Museum, in Manifesta 7; Cesare Pietroiusti, artist trained as psychiatrist, invited to present his research “Museum of Italian Art in Exile” (project in progressfunded by Fondazione Galleria Civica-Centro di Ricerca sulla Contemporaneità di Trento premiered here officially on this occasion); Nicola Valentino, co-founder of Sensibili alle foglie publisher, invited to talk about the on-going Archivio di scritture, scrizioni e arte ir-ritata.

Peep-Hole would like to thank Andrea Viliani, Director of Fondazione Galleria Civica-Centro di Ricerca sulla Contemporaneità di Trento, for the precious collaboration. Thanks to DOCVA, Milan.