Created on September 15, 2021
Rådhusgatan 33, 571 32 Nässjö, Zweden

Cells are the most painful place

In collaboration with Nassjo Konsthall 

A huge little girl floating in the act of grabbing (releasing?) a grotesque fantastic animal, a terrified fish that carries monochrome garbage in its body. The work is dedicated to mental illness.
The title is inspired by a book by Mario Tobino, Le libere donne di Magliano, an autobiographical work that tells of his activity as a doctor in the women’s ward of the psychiatric hospital of Maggiano, an all-encompassing experience that began in 1942 and lasted forty years. I was struck by his way of interacting with patients, with deep empathy. I could not forget the description of the cells for the ‘agitated’, the most painful place, and the story of seaweed.Today the asylum of Maggiano – gradually abandoned since 1978, following the Basaglia law, and definitively closed in 1999 – has been transformed into a museum. There are told not only the mentally ill but also women with illegitimate children, poor people who had no other place to go and in general all the dispoest-demented of society, branded as “crazy” according to the social conventions of the time.
All this meanings I wanted to put my work, trying to sweeten a little so much suffering with the dreamlike and surreal identification, typical of my poetics. Maybe cells they are still here. It is difficult to free the mind and find a kingdom where to declare oneself but above all to resize that realm to escape into the light.
The work speaks precisely of this, of the difficulty of relating to that consciousness that wriggles like a strange fish. The girl squeezes him with one hand, lets him go (or welcomes him, protects him?) with the other. A metaphor of existence, in continuous Manichean struggle. This strange fish, with the head of a barracuda and the body of a goldfish, does not know what adequacy is. This fish is the teratology that we all wear throughout our lives. The garbage remains on the side but accumulates, it is what we are not able to grasp, what we do not accept about ourselves. Fighting against aspects and sensations that we have inherited, built and fostered. 
Vera Bugatti (IT)—Cells are the most painful placeVera Bugatti (IT)—Cells are the most painful place
Hunted by Tim.
Pictures by provided by the artist.

Marker details

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