Today I went to the Bedlam exhibition as recommended by a fellow student. Bedlam is an exhibition looking at the development of the Bethlem Mental institution as it has changed from it opening in the 13th century to how it looks today.
It was interesting to see how the actual definition of what an asylum is has changed over the years.
The first room showed the work of an artist who had spent a lot of time at Bethlam with patients and found out how they describe their mental illness to her, she then went about visualising some of these ideas. One of the obvious examples is the illness being a monster. she uses a technique of cutting into photographs leaving white marks where she has cut.
A lot of the exhibit was showing the history of the asylum which didn't directly interest me, however this plaque about the exposing of the asylums selfish goals interested me. The institution is put there to help people however in the end it becomes a business. The asylums where not to help the mentally ill but to silence the mad.
The hearing voices Cafe
This is a newspaper aimed at normalising people hearing voices. Inside are peoples accounts of there voice hearing. The idea of a cafe is a safe space to ‘hear voices’ and chat about it. In a cafe you are always hearing voices anyway. Why are the voices you hear more weird when you hear them in your head?
Designing the perfect asylum
This was probably my favourite part of the exhibition. A series of steps on how to design the perfect asylum which shows a lot of processes that i want to use and will use to do my designing in this project. I also love the small comic strips they made of a persons perfect day in the asylum.
I would love to slightly adapt this idea and ask People suffering from mental illness for their worst day/ perfect day. Then try to capture this day and put it into a song!
The outcome of the perfect asylum designed with nearly 500 experienced users looks like a wonderful festival type environment.
upstairs there was a medical exhibition which also linked and gave me some cool ideas.
'I can’t help the way i feel, an interesting very explicit way of showing the emotional landscape on the humans surface.' The caption that went with the above piece.
socks showing chromosones, showing in a humorous way the huge differences between all human beings
making brain scans into physical objects, a nice way to visualise thoughts and make them into physical artefacts.