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Group Therapy: Mental Distress in a Digital Age

Date uploaded: February 16, 2015

Originating from FACT’s extensive work within the field of mental health, their new exhibition entitled Group Therapy: Mental Distress in a Digital Age will explore the complex relationship between technology, society, and mental health. The exhibition is curated by Vanessa Bartlett and Mike Stubbs and will run from the 5th of March 2015 to the 17th of May 2015 at  FACT, Liverpool.

Group Therapy explores the past, present and future of mental health, and includes Superflex’s video installation The Financial Crisis, which explores how modern economic systems have the capacity to leave us all feeling insecure and vulnerable.

The history of mental illness is highlighted from different perspectives. A photographic series of American asylum buildings by artist Quintan Ana Wikswo evokes the hyper-vigilant eye movements of post-traumatic stress disorder, offering viewers the opportunity to experience reality through the eyes of an individual marked as an outsider by the impacts of trauma or social injustice. By showcasing spaces formerly reserved for the mentally ill, she also provides insights into the historical context of mental illness and its surrounding power structures. Dora Garcia's film The Deviant Majority features an interview with Carmen Roll formally of the German Socialist Patient's Collective (SPC) who in the 1970s argued that capitalism is responsible for manifestations of madness. An electroconvulsive therapy machine shows how technology is not a new concept in mental health settings.

Part of the exhibition is also an interactive archive showing 20 years of FACT projects for participants with mental health issues, in which artists have been working closely with the community in creative projects as well as created digital tools that support mental health. These projects have been organised in collaboration with various mental health organisations, including Mersey Care NHS Trust.

The full list of participating artists is: Katriona Beales (UK), Dora García (Spain), George Khut (Australia), Melanie Manchot (UK), Lauren Moffatt (Australia / Germany), Jennifer Kanary Nikolov(a) (Netherlands), Kate Owens and Neeta Madahar (UK), Members of Freehand (FACT’s young people’s programme) and Erica Scourti (UK / Greece), Superflex (Denmark), UBERMORGEN (Austria) the vacuum cleaner (UK) and Quintan Ana Wikswo (US).

For more information click here.

“The City and Hackney Centre for Mental Health” Intervention by the vacuum cleaner

“The City and Hackney Centre for Mental Health” Intervention by the vacuum cleaner