Frag mich nicht Warum
Artoll art lab January 2007
A former pavilion, Haus 6 of the Rheinische Kliniken in Bedburg-Hau in Germany, is an arts initiative for independent and experimental art on location.
Several artists worked for a period of one month at this unique psychiatric hospital location. It is a wooded area that accommodates a large number of pavilions where clients and residents stay during their mental struggle. Whether forced or voluntary, thousands of stories take place on this beautiful piece of land. Drawn faces leave a lasting impression. Histories, fears, sadness and pain. The tense atmosphere causes a sometimes lively, stormy, hesitant or cautious time.
The work I produced over there is about Depression and Suicide. People with depression or suicidal thoughts are often offered little chance to express their desires. Generally speaking, there is no room for this. The surviving dependents, family and friends find it hard to understand. Blame, fears and emotions create irreconcilable obstacles. In therapy and in conversations with therapists encouragement is not allowed.
A big taboo, but when life hurts so much. If only death can fulfill your desire for calmness, tranquility and peace of mind. Then life becomes difficult and a heavy burden to bear single handedly in the loneliness.
Two large canvases of 12'2" (370cm) wide and 8'5" (256cm) high hang face to face. Photos of trees on the site form the starting point of this project. Together they form an impenetrable forest. Brightly colored trees stand in sharp and fierce contrast to the deep black. A nude woman runs blindly through the forest, her eyes see nothing but her inner pain. There is no sky, the black stings. Opposite this forest is a tree, her branches reach out toward heaven. Your attention shifts up along the dark green of the stem. Behind that is a cloudy sky, light, peace, silence, flying, freedom, salvation; death.
The sink shows a mirror. The mirror is scratched open. Self-loathing, disgust, hatred, pain and sadness at the sight of our own reflection. What you can't love you can no longer take care of. The sink is dirty and grimy. A towel hangs lifelessly next to the sink. Bound in thin red thread, a silent reference to self-mutilation.