DE-INSTITUTE Media Art Installation Exhibition

NOVEMBER 3-11, 11am-9pm 


De-Institute is a group installation project examining philosophical approaches and alternatives to forms of institutionalized clinical care. Artists focus on contrasting observations about the causal nature of contemporary dis-ease and dis-order and offer concepts of healing through and throughout the constitutionality of their art practice. Informed by their own spectrum of experiences, challenges and insights, from critical and cautionary, to intimate and humorous, artist’s respond in reaction to institutionalized methods and treatments which fall short in scope, of deeper holistic concerns. De-Institute spotlights four artists, two established and two emerging, whose approaches personify a set of recovery-based operatives, by virtue of the dynamics at play in their creative process and presentations.



Brad Necyk’s Waiting Room, multi-media installation explores illness-trauma and post-traumatic growth. Creating collaborative generative spaces are part of his life and art practice. Waiting Room examines how experiential narratives form, as bodies and minds are altered, weakened, attacked and medical interventions function around and upon them. Specific methods and treatments such as pharmaceutics, therapies and alternately, art practice, inform how people “be-ill” and “do-illness”, to learn, adapt and embody their experiences.

Jan Swinburne’s The Divine Healer is an audio-visual collaboration with contemporary, post-rock composer Philippe Gerber (JOHN 3:16). The Divine Healer musically performs and visually transforms on an arc of generation, degeneration and regeneration. The transfiguration of the guitar-wielding figure channels a duality of both the conjurer and trickster of myth, as shape-shifter and boundary-crosser of established rules, beliefs and conventions.

Julie Riemersma’s Catch Your Breath media-art installation speaks to slowing things down and getting out of insidious feedback loops caused by social media stimuli, cravings and instant gratifications. The video loop plays with the Triangle Of Breathing animated graphic, a ubiquitous on-line motif used in guiding mindfulness breathing techniques. It performs at ever-increasingly paced intervals, which build to heart-stopping speeds, simulating anxiety and panic over an absurdly vast compression of content, rendered near meaningless by its consuming barrage.

Wendy Whaley’s Dynamics Of Happiness kinetic sculpture is an adaptation of the gif that originated from the Harvard documentary The Inner Life of a Cell, which stirred existential debate over the concept of intelligent design in our genetic code. This begs the question of whether our traits, chemistry, personalities, dispositions and the like are encoded or hard-wired. Equally, Albert Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus (1942) also informs this work, by way of Sisyphus’ acceptance of futility of the expectation that the journey to know and attain happiness will ever end.

For more information contact Visual Arts Manager & Project Curator, Claudette Abrams