While increased media coverage has helped raise general awareness of war infected Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), psychiatrists have further investigated the widespread social traumatic afflictions resulting from repeated psychological assaults, within the civilian population. 198 Gallery opens an exhibition entitled "Trauma and Art †- The Hidden Scars" on June 19 and runs through July 28, 2006. There will also be a symposium held on June 20th.
As part of Refugee Week 2006, Trauma and Art: The Hidden Scars presents Everlyn Nicodemusís body of work, which promotes an extended approach to the notion of trauma, as well as encouraging a better understanding of the impact of individual and cultural psychological traumas and their effects as major disabling afflictions. This exhibition is the third stage to the artistís project on trauma, which started in 2001 with her essay Modernity as a Mad Dog: On Art and Trauma, in the Over Here anthology, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, and MIT Press, and continued in 2004 with her solo exhibition Crossing the Void at C.C.Strombeek, Brussels, Belgium.
Building on the example provided by Black and Ethnic Minorities in the UK, Trauma and Art: The Hidden Scars will confront Everlynís ongoing theoretical approach to social reality and embrace various perspectives on Trauma.
Based upon I.W.Charny's Encyclopedia of Genocide, Everlyn's Reference Scroll on Genocide, Massacre and Ethnic Cleansing (2004) sets the historical and political context of the exhibition. Clinically, exhaustively and painfully listing centuries of genocides around the world, it emphasises the limits of visual representation as a tool for the artist to truthfully render the terrifying extent of extreme suffering and evil. Developing the notion of "politics of trauma", Everlyn Nicodemus's scroll investigates how massacres, ethnic cleansings and their memories are ideologically appropriated, sometimes exploited by political reasons and how traumas can eventually evolve into historical taboos.
Dealing with a more personal and analytical approach to the traumatic experience, the Beyond Depiction video (2004), alongside with a series of drawings and mixed media works, embodies Everlyn's own experience of trauma. It unveils the psychological mechanisms leading to PTSD and explores the paths to recovery.
The Identikitten video (2006) looks at the smaller scale, day to day, repetitive but nonetheless traumatic occurrences encountered by individuals, and particularly by BME communities. It explores race profiling, identity supervision and institutionalised racism as the possible sources of the expansion of widespread trauma-linked psychological disorders, but also critically appraises the development of a paralysing victimisation system within the community.
Symposium : †Trauma and Art †- The Social Realities
20 June 2006, June, 6.30 Ė 8 pm (free event but booking advised, please RSVP 198 Gallery).
At InIVA, 6-8 Standard Place
Rivington Street, London EC2A 3BE
Building on the material provided by Everlynís new pieces of work (Identitiken, 2006), exhibited at 198 Gallery, the symposium will attempt to confront the ongoing theoretical approach to Trauma, with the social reality. Focusing upon the example of the black community in the UK, it will explore the direct and concrete social consequences of trauma, by documenting and referring to the distressing experiences some individuals from diverse ethnic backgrounds come across, on a regular basis.
David Neita: David is a barrister and legal advisor to the London African Caribbean Education Network. He also is a poet, with a strong profile in initiating positive social change within the community. He received a Kings Fund award in 2003 for developing the use of poetry and creative writing in health settings across London, and awards in 2003 and 2004 from the Mayor of London for outstanding contribution to London life. He is committed to helping those who are experiencing difficulties or are rehabilitating within our mental health system.
Pr. Jean Fisher : Jean Fisher is a writer and artist who divides her time between London and New York. She is the former editor of Third Text and has written extensively for numerous periodicals. She currently teaches at Middlesex University Department of Fine Art, London.
Dr. Janice Cheddie: Dr. Janice Cheddie is a 0.5 Research Associate on Cross cultural Arts Research Project (AHRB), in the Historical & Cultural Studies Department. She also teaches the Electronic Media module. for the department at Goldsmith College. Her current research tackles globalisation and electronic visual culture.
Matilda MacAttran: Matilda MacAttran is the Senior Race Relations Heatlh Consultant of the 1990 Trust, the first national Black organisation set up to protect and pioneer the interest of Britainís Black Communities. Her Independent Race Relations Health Consultancy (IRRHC) specialises in researching health issues in ethnic minority populations, as well as playing a key role in developing and analysing race relations policy and legislation informed by the needs and concerns of Black groups in Britain.
And Everlyn Nicodemus.