When the Whistle Glares
The exhibition includes a film and a series of sculptures made during an artist’s residence at a psychiatric clinic on the island of Curaçao, a former Dutch colony in the Caribbean. This is the final chapter of The Dilution Project, a long-term artistic research developed around the concept of antipsychiatry and focused in particular on the legacy of Nieuw Dennendal, a radical experiment for the treatment of mental illness developed during the 1970s in the Netherlands. The focal point of Nieuw Dennendal’s experiment was the utopian concept of ‘dilution’: the idea of approaching healthy and mentally ill people, in an attempt to overcome the growing sense of polarization and hierarchization manifested in the society of the time. It is important to frame this experience in the context of the anti-psychiatry movement, developed in the same years in Europe, and of the innovations proposed in the psychiatric field by Franco Basaglia in Italy.