Art For More / Edra Exhibition
Annual International Festival by K.S.D.E.O. Edra
In Celebration of World Mental Health Day
In a most critical period of our time when 210 Mental Health Units are being threatened with cuts in funding, which will result in de-institutionalization programs for people with mental disabilities being cancelled and their re-admission to psychiatric hospitals, the 5th ‘Art4More’ Festival (7-9th Οctober 2011) pledges its support in increasing general public awareness through art, by featuring a proliferation of discussions, exhibitions and happenings.
NON-PLACE ART: SKETCHING THE MARGINS
The exhibition took the concept of ‘non-places’ as defined by the French anthropologist Marc Augé as its starting point. ‘Non-places’ refer to places of transit and passage, designed to be consumed, passed through or by such as airports and motorways. This exhibition put works that are similar in context to ‘non-places’ on display. It showed sketches (doodles) that spring up from spur-of-the-moment impulses, created with no intention to be shown or even kept; in short, they were no result of their creators’ conscious activity.
The festival provided these works with an interstitial zone where they could be both exhibited and accommodated, in an effort to direct visitors’ attention to them. Revealing the deeply intimate moments and special circumstances they were created in, they were uniquely personal in character.
The exhibition illustrated the return of contemporary art to simple experimental early forms of art, such as the art of persons with mental challenges is. Development of an inborn pictorial language as a means of expression as well as an alternative therapeutic medium for mental recovery was also suggested.
‘Non-Place Art’ exhibition featured doodles drawn on blank pages, in margins left on pages, post-it notes, Moleskine notebooks, diaries and any surface a sketch can be given a spontaneous, unintentional shape on.
Including works by professional artists as well as by mental health services users, the exhibition allowed for sketches created by people relegated to the fringe of society to be seen, aiming to open a doorway to the broader community and facilitate integration.
Participants: Eleni Aggelou, Vasiliki Anastasiou, Vanessa Anastasopoulou, Sokratis Argiritis (SOX), Katerina Vasiliadou, Lefteris Yiakoumakis, Yiorgos Yousis, Spiros Yousis, Canuto Callan, Lila Kaloyeri, Dimitris Kalyviotis, Anna Lekka, Yiorgos Maraziotis, Anna Mavromati, Vasilis Botoulas, Dimitra Nikolopoulou, Stavroula Papadaki, Konstantinos Papamihalopoulos, Panayiotis Pantazis (PANPAN), Tasos Papaioannou, Orestis Symvoulidis, Panayiota Staikou, Akrivi Symeonidi, Vaso Fenekou, Chrysanthos Christodoulou, Maria Christoforatou, Stella Chronopoulou, Diadrome Alternative Occupation and Therapeutic Activities Center run by K.S.D.E.O. Edra, IPAP I Theotokos Foundation, Yeorgia Kalcha (‘Dro’ Program, Nicosia, Cyprus), Konstantina Mandilari (Poreia Boarding House), Society of Social Psychiatry and Mental Health, Kallipolis Boarding House run by Metavasis Non-Profit Social Enterprise, Othon Tetenes
Happenings: Soundscape’sProject, A Newspaper, a Ball of Red Thread and a Secret, Improvising in relationships, DJ Performance, Acrobatic Dance Theater Performance.
The festival took place under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Health, the Greek Ministry of Culture and with the support of Psychiatric Hospital of Athens, Pizza Fun, THE HUB.
The exhibition of therapeutic architecture featured scientific announcements, put up in the form of posters, issued by offices and research teams worldwide. These teams and offices had taken part in international conferences and competitions concerning buildings and applications of Therapeutic Architecture to everyday life (curator: Dr Evangelia Chrysikou, Architect Engineer and Researcher on Health Care Units Architecture). Furthermore, a symposium was held to examine Therapeutic Architecture health care facilities such as boarding houses, day centers, hospitality shelters and specially adapted residences. The proceedings included brief keynote reports by scientists from Greece and abroad to be followed up by interactive discussions and interventions from the audience. Dr Evangelia Chrysikou, architect engineer and researcher on Health Care Units Architecture, acted as chair of the symposium, while major speeches were delivered by Dr Upali Nanda (USA), Annette Ridenour (Canada), Dr Cornel Lustig (Israel) and many other internationally recognized authorities from Israel, America, Canada and the UK.
Symposium on contemporary Therapeutic Means. Therapeutic Agriculture (Garden)
Studies have demonstrated that application of alternative therapeutic means to mental health care positively contributes, in both pathological and psychiatric terms, not only to promoting patients’ quality of life, but also to preventing illness from developing as well as to reducing medication taken. “Edra”’s pilot application of an alternative therapeutic means management model has produced positive outcomes, which were outlined at the symposium and announced to the scientific community by Alexandros Ikonomou, scientific director, and Chrysanthos Boulas, psychiatrist of mental health units run by Edra. Based on the report presented by Dr Tzoulia Tzortzi, landscape architect, forestry scientist and environmentalist, on Therapeutic Gardening and its application to Landscape Architecture, the second part of the symposium revolved around the creation and use of purpose-designed gardens as an alternative means of therapy and a way of setting an even pace of life. Specialists from home and abroad presented reports relating to the subject and Mihalis Maniadakis, floriculture technician and ecological agriculture consultant, highlighted cases in Greece.