Between the Walls - a solo exhibition by Simon Chang and artist residency at the Museum of Madness
Cmurek Castle, with its former "State Asylum for the Mentally and Neurologically Ill " and the efforts of the Museum of Madness to raise awareness of the rights of people with mental health problems, inspires many artists, and this time they have brought in renowned photographer Simon Chang, who has photographed people who have ended up behind the walls of institutions due to their personal circumstances or because of the war, in the psychiatric institutions that are still in operation in Prague, in the Czech Republic, and in Erbil, in the Southern Kurdistan Region of Iraq. More about the project. Chang's photographs are a window into the world of a closed institution. They are also a document and evidence of the isolation, alienation, loneliness of the people behind the walls.
In the 10 years of the Museum of Madness, cultural and artistic interventions have proven to be an important complement to historical representation. The abandoned rooms of the Cmurek Castle have become a place of remembrance, testimonies and conversations about the social construction of madness and mental health. A topic that has been pushed to the margins of society is brought to the centre of attention here, not because we want it to be, but because Cmurek Castle itself, with its Museum of Madness, encourages people to talk about it - and not with a psychiatrist, therapist or social worker - but with "non-experts", ordinary people and in a space with cultural value. We invited Simon Chang to set up an exhibition of his photographs in three rooms that have so far been inaccessible to the public. He will be staying at Cmurek Castle for the duration of the exhibition, talking to visitors, volunteers and locals about the people he has met on his photographic journeys, and listening to the stories of the local people themselves. The project will strengthen cooperation with people living behind the walls of the largest social care institution in Slovenia..
Contact person: Darja Farasin
Project duration: 28 June 2022 to 10 October 2022
The project was supported by: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, National Fund for Arts and Culture of Taiwan, SVZ Hrastovec