In the exhibition Being moved things around. Deferral at Hillside artist Stephan Blumenschein pre-sents a new installation deriving from his research into anxiety, architecture and the extended medical gaze.
BEING MOVED THINGS AROUND
Artist: Stephan Blumenschein
7 July – 3 Sept 2023
Beautiful Distress, Amsterdam
The origin story of panic disorder as a medical category, which unfolded during early pharma-ceutical experiments at Hillside Hospital/NY (1959-62), served him as a point of departure. What cap-tured the artist’s imagination was the hallway of the Morris Lowenstein Pavilion in which the changed movement of a patient became visible; and the role of an anonymous nurse who’s observations were the base of a new conception of panic. Blumenschein’s interest lies here specifically with the produc-tion of (in)visibilities. Looking back in time, back at the institution, and to the back – the artist chal-lenges what is deemed unheard and unseen.
The exhibition is centered around a series of new sculptures, which incorporate different moments of his research. Inspired by a mysterious cabinet depicted in an image of a patient’s room, the works ex-plore dynamics of ‘looking-into’ and ‘closed spaces’, alternating between promise and deferral. The works speak about the artist’s Kafka’esque experience with the current Hillside administration, the pa-triarchal production of absence in the archives, and his own movement through these spaces. Blu-menschein thereby continuously questions the relationship between these insides and outsides without resolving it.
The artist draws from a variety of sources and is mingling a diverse set of relations: voicing archival material with his family, fusing historic and contemporary material, and relying upon employees with-in the institution as informants for his research. By doing so he spins a web across times and spaces looking for echoes in the reproduction of hierarchies and (in)visibilities.
Blumenschein’s show at Beautiful Distress House comprises a series of sculptures, photographs and an architectural intervention. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication and a side program fea-turing a series of screenings co-curated with writer and organizer Janine Armin, and an iteration of the artist’s ongoing “We are listening to a record” gatherings.
Photo: Baha Görkem Yalim