(Preposición) La Habitación
“Any interpretation of madness which overlooks subjective experience will inevitably provide an incomplete and, ultimately conceptualization of the experience.
This is, we believe, true of much human experience, but particularly true of madness”
Jim Geekie & John Read.
(Preposición) La Habitación is an audiovisual work presented for the first time in the Es Baluard museum as the winning project of the Production Scholarship of Videographic Creation DKV-Es Baluard.
It is an experience that creators Elssie Ansareo (México D.F., 1979) and Alaitz Arenzana (Bilbao, 1976) conducted from May to October 2014 with patients of the Zamudio Psychiatric Hospital in Bizkaia. The result of all this culminated in a work lasting 35 minutes that will be exhibited in Es Baluard’s Gabinet from 10th December until 8th March of 2015.
(Preposición) La Habitación brings together six patients from the hospital to visit and analyse the spaces in this centre for the mentally ill, and in particular the therapeutic space.
The work methodology is based on a question the artists ask the hospital patients: “What are these spaces like?” They answer on the basis of their own experience, not only limiting themselves to descriptions, but enriching their analysis with the way of life inside the centre. Afterwards, the question focuses on a different idea. “What would you like these spaces to be like?” In this second reply, the participants bear witness to their hopes, concerns, the stigma and the subjective experience of illness.
The piece gives a voice to patients who wish to be heard, and puts an image to their aspirations and hopes to live in a more dignified way with this kind of mental illness, and thus construct their ‘Own Room’, La habitación propia.
The relationship between inside and outside, the resonances between space and internal conflicts charge the places with identity and energy, as though they were impregnated with the experiences, with the spirit of the being that once glided within their walls.
The process of the authors, which has a dialogic sense, does not intervene invasively in the place, but works with the people who live their life there. Thus, the camera take cares of decoding the inside and the outside, generating an intermediate language, an intangible territory that will not leave spectators unscathed.