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Beautiful Distress: November 25 – January 14

January 4, 2018  |  Exhibitions, General

Beautiful Distress is an art manifestation on mental illness and an an initiative of the Fifth Season Foundation and the Beautiful Distress Foundation. Both organisations host an  artist-in-residency in a mental health organization (Altrecht, Den Dolder and Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn, New York). Consisting of a two-part exhibition, a manifesto and a one-day conference, the event attempts to make mental illness visible and tangible through art while countering existing prejudices. A special side program will focus on young people.The exhibition at Nieuw Dakota will be held from November 25 to January 7, 2018

Art invites you to think differently
The Fifth Season Foundation has organized an artist residency program at Altrecht mental health organization in Den Dolder for 20 years. Inspired by the Fifth Season, the Beautiful Distress Foundation started an artist-in-residence program at the mental health department of Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York in 2014.

Esther Vossen, Director and Curator of the Fifth Season and the exhibition: “In both residence programs, artists are invited to live and work on location for three months. Here, they observe the world of psychiatry and allow this to inspire their work. The resulting work is original, engaging and critical. Art appeals to your senses and to your mind while encouraging you to look at the world differently, and often makes you more aware of your own judgments.”

The exhibition introduces the audience to the works of artists Annaleen Louwes, Roy Villevoye, Erik van Lieshout, Fransje Killaers, Frank Koolen, Anouk Kruithof, Laurence Aëgerter, Aldo van den Broek and Marieke Zwart.

Advising curator to the exhibition is Museum Dr. Guislain in Ghent, Belgium, a museum that focuses on psychiatry, history and art.

‘I only want to be happy’
Artist Annaleen Louwes: “I felt very out of place at the Kings County Hospital, in every respect. I was an intruder and outsider, which made me feel very uncomfortable. I realized that this is how people with mental illness must feel a lot of the time. I was very moved by one patients’ desperate cry, ‘I only want to be happy!’ While everyone is different, we all just want to be happy. This idea of ‘madness’ is not about people with mental difficulties. It’s actually crazy that in 2017, the mentally ill are excluded from society – thinking about this doesn’t make you very happy.”

It’s about time we talk to one another 
“Our goal is to normalize psychiatric illnesses and break the taboos that surround them. Research shows that one in four people will face mental difficulties in their lifetime. In urban areas this number is one in three and growing at an alarming rate. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Nine in ten people with a mental illness feel marginalized and ostracized from society. This has a large impact on not only their lives and those around them but on society as a whole. It’s about time we talk to one another.” – Psychiatrist and Beautiful Distress Foundation Chairman, Wilco Tuinebreijer.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS (several artists are yet to be confirmed)

Laurence Aëgerter, Aram Tanis, Marieke Zwart, Aldo van den Broek, Yasmijn Karhof, Dirk van Lieshout, Voebe de Gruyter, Marijn Ottenhof, Coco Young, Domenico Mangano & Marieke van Rooy, Kostana Banovic, Alexander Sand, Doris Denekamp & Geert van Mil, Jantine Wijnja, Tobias Groot, Enrico Garzaro, Anna Lenartowska, Rebecca Chamberlain, Guy Richards Smit, Frank Koolen, Anno Dijkstra, Aimée Zito Lema, Alet Pilon, Anouk Kruithof, Lotte van Lieshout, Roos Rebergen & Tim van Oosten (RoosBeef), Jikke van Loon, Marisca Voskamp, Annemiek Vera, Jean Bernard Koeman,  Annaleen Louwes, Christiaan Bastiaans, Berend Strik, Erik van Lieshout, Roy Villevoye, Fransje Killaars, Ingmar Heytze, Lisette Verkerk, Emmeline de Mooij & Adriaan Mellegers, Mario Rizzi, Mella Jaarsma & Yudi Tajudin, Nina Glockner, Willem de Rooy.

Beautiful Distress is kindly supported by: