The Deviant Majority. From Basaglia to Brazil
DVD (colour, sound)
Dimensions: 34' Variable dimensions
Reference: ACF0969
Edition: 3/5
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Dora Garcia’s The Deviant Majority. From Basaglia to Brazil was made in 2010 for the São Paulo Bienal. Almost a video documentary, this piece explores the reforming work carried out by Franco Basaglia (1924–1980) in the field of psychiatry and mental health. Groundbreaking in the sixties, these innovative treatments are still in use today. Basaglia aimed to do away with the rules that excluded patients and he encouraged social interactions that blurred the rigid categories of normality and abnormality—a subject that looms large in Dora García’s art work, which focuses on socially excluded or marginalised people. Her project Lo inadecuado, presented in 2001 at the 54th Venice Biennale, is a good example of her interest in probing the social limits of what is accepted and what is rejected, what is let in and what is left out. The narrative sequence in The Deviant Majority. From Basaglia to Brazil is built around three main settings: the Accademia della Follia theatre group made up of patients and staff at the psychiatric hospital in Trieste; the Centro de Teatro do Oprimido in Rio de Janeiro, led by Augusto Boal; and the ideas of activist Carmen Roll, a former member of the German Sozialistisches Patientenkollektiv [Socialist Patients' Collective], which believed that certain physical manifestations of madness were caused by the capitalist system. Through a combination of interviews, voiceovers and films of activities and workshops in different therapeutic contexts, this insightful audiovisual documentary explores the power of art to undermine the norms and social conventions that define and limit our reality. In 2013 it won the 45th International Contemporary Art Prize.

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