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Part of Me… Shaping Mental Spaces

27 August 2022 @ 12:00 - 20 November 2022 @ 20:00

Experiences of mental health vary greatly, and we all relate to it in different ways. While some people’s mental well-being is rarely challenged, others are affected in more frequent and demanding ways. In recognizing the multitudinal ways in which mental health inhabits the mind and body, it is important to amplify the voices of those whose daily lives are shaped by their dealings with certain struggles or patterns.

With the exhibition, Part of Me… Shaping Mental Spaces, FOTODOK invites artists to show projects that respond to their lived experiences of various mental states. Presented works mediate personal stories of the makers or are the result of close collaboration with colleagues, friends, and family members that reflect on their realities. Many of the makers construct their narratives through photographic self-portraiture and weave together poetry, paintings, video, and other media.

In oc·u·lus /ˈäkyələs (2013-ongoing), Irene Antonia Diane Reece (US) explores the pain she has lived with, both physically and mentally, since a young child, and how, as a Black woman, she has had to deal with the trauma of being silenced by the medical system. In Inner Journey (2014-ongoing), Marvel Harris (NL) traces his/their ongoing relationship to his/their gender identity, autism, and mental health. In Mental Moshpit (2020-ongoing), Mandy Nijhof (NL) deals with childhood trauma and abuse. In Tali Pusat (2020-2021), Peggy van Mosselaar (NL) works together with her 83-year-old mother Fientje Ida Wenzel, who lived with dementia. They traveled together back to Indonesia, the country of the artist’s mother’s origin, in order to reconstruct Fientje’s memories. Outsiderland, a new initiative uniting so-called “outsider” and “insider” artists through collaborative projects and presentations, introduces a pop-up shop at FOTODOK with installations by the makers who create beautiful worlds together. Outsiderland includes: Jan Hoek (NL) and Bruin Parry (NL); Aàdesokan (NG/NL) and Klaus Compagnie (BE), Yasmine van Haesebroucke (BE), Niels-Jan Tavernier (BE); Laetitia Bica (BE) and Samuel Cariaux (BE); Martine Derks (NL) and Model Nina 666 (NL).

Finally, the exhibition includes a poem written specifically for its occasion by Sanah Ahsan (GB), who self-describes as “a queer Muslim womxn, a HCPC-registered clinical psychologist, an award-winning poet, and all-round disruptor, whose work is centered on compassion and decolonising our understandings of mental health”. Another very special addition to Part of Me… Shaping Mental Spaces is a satellite solo installation of A Story to Tell, or: Regarding Male Eating Disorders (2020) by Mafalda Rakoš (AT) and Ruben de Theije (NL) at Astare, a space for professionals in mental health care.

Curator: Daria Tuminas
Design: Studio Sara Cristina Moser
Production: Daria Tuminas, Martha Stroo, Fotolab
With the support of: the City of Utrecht, Mondriaan Fonds, Fentener van Vlissingen Fonds, and K.F. Hein Fonds.
Collaborations: Embassy of the Republic of Austria in the Netherlands, Astare, Melkweg Expo, Beeldend Gesproken, Het Vijfde Seizoen, Studio Merle Bergers.


27 August 2022 @ 12:00
20 November 2022 @ 20:00
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Embassy of Austria


Lange Nieuwstraat 7
Utrecht, 3512 PA Netherlands
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