Cultural

Ausstellung – Todesursache: Euthanasie
Benaki museum Pireos str. | Goethe Institut Athen |

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Cause of death: Euthanasia : Works from the Prinzhorn Collection

The exhibition represents the first occasion that particularly significant visual arts works from the internationally renowned Prinzhorn Collection of the Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Heidelberg are shown in Greece. 
The 96 works on display, a portion of this extensive German collection, were created by 18 artists who were mental patients and who, over the period 1939-1944, were victims of the merciless euthanasia programme promulgated by the Nazis. 

Hans Prinzhorn (1886-1933), doctor and art historian, inspired the collection. Prinzhorn was fascinated by the topics investigated by cultural anthropology, such as the source of the artistic impulse, and sought to get a grip on the “schizophrenic sense of existence” as this was recorded in expressionist art during his lifetime. Following World War I, he gathered works from various psychiatric clinics and created a unique collection at Heidelberg. His greatest contribution lies in that by offering a positive re-evaluation to the marginalized “mad” art and its creators, he facilitated a recognition of the talent of psychiatric patients and a re-evaluation of such patients by society. 

These works constitute a point where history, art and psychiatry come together, as does the destructive power of society, which under conditions where politics turn extreme, create new perilous pitfalls for its weaker members. 

The exhibition is under the aegis of His Excellency the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Karolos Papoulias.

Duration: 21/01/2011 – 13/02/2011
Place:  Athens, Greece Benaki Museum Pireos Street Annexe
Organization:  Hellenic Psychiatric Association in collaboration with the Benaki Museum and the Goethe Institut

 

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