‘Three Christs,’ Schizophrenia & Us
Avnet’s film, for all its blustering about the institutional period of mental health treatment, is on its firmest footing when in its depiction it strives for accuracy about the ache and woe of mental illness, when it says what is true: that they are us.
January 12, 2020
Last winter, I came into possession of the papers of an émigré psychiatrist who practiced in New York in the late 1940s and 1950s. The archive included a collection of manila envelopes, around six by ten inches, stuffed with folded sheets of thin paper covered with single-spaced typing: the notes the psychiatrist made after seeing patients (many of them fellow émigrés) in his office. As I studied the sheets with their inky typewriting and 60-year-old paper clips holding them together and leaving rust marks on the surface, my collagist’s imagination began to stir. I began to “see” some version of the collages on view here.
January 8, 2012