Community Events Mad World: On Sane People In Insane Situations

Mad World: On Sane People In Insane Situations
Saturday 30 May - Sunday 21 June 2015 10:00am - 7:00pm
St Margaret's House

Public View Friday 29 May, from 6pm

From individuals interred for their homosexuality, to women who wanted divorces; from teenagers who wanted to write for a living, to malnutrition – discover the history and explore if you can logically spot madness. This collaborative exhibitions offers everyone the chance to contribute their definitions of madness.

The concept of ‘madness’ has been a part of human society for arguably millennia, many places – times – and peoples have shaped how we perceive ‘mental health’. Now, in the UK and western world, the dominant perspective is one which medicalizes behaviour, and the medical world has become the overriding voice which gets to speak about what meanings are attributed to these phenomena, and what they represent.

This exhibition invites the world to come into the exhibition, look at what is on view and try to decide who is ‘sane’ and who is ‘crazy’ by looking at the art and exhibits. The idea reformulates psychologists David Rosenhan and Martin Seligman’s famous work ‘On Sane People in Insane Places’. This is what happened when two sane people checked themselves into asylums to gain firsthand experience was of the people who went through them.

Here we have brought together work from a number of artists, and woven a panorama of histories revealing perspectives around ‘madness’ which are not commonly found in the rhetoric of the medical institutions.

Historiographer, Michel-Rolph Trouillot suggests that everywhere a fact is created, so too is a silence. You are warmly invited to come and peer in on the silences of the mental asylum, and discover the histories, organisations, and individuals who have dared have a perspective of their own revealing the alternative and sometimes uncomfortable.

This exhibition is inspired by the emerging academic field of Mad Matters, the work of Mad People’s History, Oor Mad History,Asylum Magazine, Advocard and many more organisations; alongside the countless people who have sought to have their experiences valued on their own psyche and behaviour.

This is part of a long term project of Ragged University to provide a platform for people to share their thoughts, criticisms and ideas around the area of Madness and mental health.

You can find the archive at:

Location details

St. Margaret’s House – Third Floor
St. Margaret’s House, 151 London Road
Edinburgh EH7 6AE

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