This proposed project is based in our past work as well as some personal history. Lilla’s father, an immigrant to the United States from Sicily, was a physician specializing in psychiatry. Upon arriving in the US, he worked with the criminally insane in state hospitals and, as a result, Lilla spent her childhood living on the asylum’s grounds, mixing freely with the inmates and, thereby, being exposed to quite varied perceptions of reality. Issues of perception, both psychological and visual, are also recurrent in our collaborative work. Based on this personal history and our focus on human vulnerability, we would like to develop a video installation concerning mental illness and perception. The many faceted nature of mental dysfunction provides an ideal basis upon which to build a multi-channel video, and in our proposed project we will still include the use of a whole body scanner, but also incorporate actors, making a collage of sorts and capturing their movements with the use of Motion Capture to blend with our animations. We plan to explore some of the conflicts associated with mental illness as well as the stigma and perception of it by its sufferers and the mental institution itself. The completed composition would investigate both sides of the thin line separating the mentally healthy from the unhealthy and would ultimately celebrate the complexity and the beauty of the human mind.
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