In an era in which the concept of mental health manifests itself at the crossroads between self-care and mass hysteria, are we still able to initiate a process of de-stigmatisation and a reconsideration of mental illness? How to we de-construct the binary categorisation that distinguishes “deviance” from “normality”?
The Pneuma project originates with these considerations and, after a year of theoretical and empirical research, exploring the immateriality and intangibility of mental illness. Incidentally, Pneuma rediscovers itself in dialogue with the current worldwide emergency, caused by the rampant COVID-19 epidemic: what is the psychological impact of these collective traumatic events on the individual? What are the psychic implications behind isolation? If on the one hand the levels of anxiety and psychological fear are constantly increasing, fuelled by an overload of information from the media, on the other, the first scientific evidence emerges that the same virus is even able to attack the central nervous system. During research residences and collaborations in ten different countries, the artist came into contact with multiple European realities, in the realisation of a project made up of different immersive pieces, brought to fruition following the interaction with people in care, medical staff, doctors and researchers of various kinds. The countries involved are Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, England, Romania and Czech Republic. Fogarolli has forged relationships with some of their major psychiatric institutions, developing a direct confrontation with those who live in these areas, putting into discussion the classification processes of mental distress and the consequent marginalisation of the individual.
Project supported by the Italian Council (6th Edition 2019) program to promote Italian contemporary art in the world by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MIBACT).