Lonny Shavelson’s work is a photographic series combined with taped statements by people who have been in mental hospitals and are not out and again living in the community. “I wanted to find a way around this insane public view of what crazy people are about — to slip by the media-propagated images of droolers, mind-scrambled lunatics. I needed to shed the protective armour of psychological jargon. Mostly, I wanted to overcome my own fear.”
The format of the exhibition is unusual: the gallery viewer, wearing a “walkman”-type cassette player, moves through the exhibition while listening to each subject’s voice reading from his/her own oral history. The work exposes the problems and ironies experienced by people who have left our mental institutions and are now trying to adapt to life in the ‘real’ world.
Supported by Canada Council and the Van Dusen Fund in Vancouver.
The show is accompanied by a poster, and the book of the same name.