D.S.M. Mental Health Department

Lambda print / edition of 3 / 180 x 120 cm

 

The complete exhibition is made up of five sections:

I.      Artefacts, installation by Alejandro Gómez de Tuddo
II.     Photographs by Alejandro Gómez de Tuddo
III.    X Rays by Alejandro Gómez de Tuddo
IV.    Sculptures by Eva Gerd
V.     Drawings by Eva Gerd


Approximately thirty years ago, as a result of the enforcement of the “Psychiatric Reform Law”, better known as the “Basaglia Law”, Italian madhouses were shut down.
The instruments used in surgical operations at such mental health centres constitute the main object of each section of the exhibition. These instruments, mostly dating back to the sixties, were found by the artist at the operation rooms of the few institutions that have been kept closed and untouched ever since.
Magnetic Resonance Images (MRI) of the surgical instruments are projected over the walls of the spiral structure of the “Artefacts” installation -built as a container of organs. At its center, a human brain in formaldehide stands lit in the dark.
The series of photographs, shot at the desolate spaces of the old mental health institutions, evoke the memory of its former occupants; while the X rays of the instruments, mounted on light boxes, give birth to the process of expansion of memory.
The sound installation blends with the resonance of the wind while passing through the interstices of an old medieval ruin, and the caw of birds that nest in the hollow building.
These modern medical techniches applied to steady objects, transported to the artistic field, establish a counterpoint dialogue with the pencil drawings of Eva Gerd, transforming the instruments in post-organic bodies in continuous evolution.

Each of these rescued objects – coated, sutured and embalmed – rests in a larval state, lying on black satin pillows. With such burial in full sight, the ritual of the metamorphosis of the objects comes to its conclusion. Furthermore  the embedded artistic endeavour also reaches a conclusion. In so doing it reminds of the Platonic theory of ideas and the doctrine of  shapes, where existence is divided into two spheres: that of the “intelligible”of the perfect ideas and shapes, eternal and undivisible; and that of the “sensible”, where concrete and known objects belong.

 

  

Museums & Galleries

DSM
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo AZ
Morelia, Mexico, 2008

Designed, not printed    Lambda print / edition of 3 / 1.20 x 1.80 m    Museo de Arte Contemporáneo AZ, Morelia

DSM catalogue PDF

 

Human Contrasts, Ambiguity and Disturbance

In Gómez de Tuddo’s photographs of mental health premises, life seems to be suddenly pulled out. The remains
- a wheelchair that continues to stare at the light that filters through the window –  everyday object:  toilet paper, slightly unrolled, as if waiting to be used. These build a disturbing image of suspended life, nourished by the echoes of a short story.

Gómez de Tuddo’s photographic compositions evoke intimacy and light, which have been transfigured into demential words of objects immortalized by forgetfulness. These objects are free from the presence of inmates, who never met the camera. Yet they are here, tied, hidden within love letters, or in the vessel containing a brain in formaldehyde, rescued by the photographer from the the ship of fools’ wreck.

Carlos F. Marquez, La Jornada, Michoacán, 2008

 

Los ecos de la locura

Alejandro Gómez de Tuddo se ha dado a la tarea de viajar por el mundo dispuesto a encontrar vida en lo que clínicamente está muerto. Le importa mostrar la belleza en aquello que a primera vista horroriza, o que por violento y cruel nos negamos a mirar.

 Sus fotografías se exhiben en museos, galerías y espacios alternativos en diversos países del mundo. En algunos casos se trata de visiones que muestran la crueldad y la estupidez humanas. En otros, los objetos fotografiados se transforman en una serenidad espectral de hiperrealidad inquietante, mientras que otras son abstracciones de poesía pura. Para exponer gusta de trabajar en formatos grandes (“gigantografías”), en los cuales se pueden apreciar una variedad de detalles, ante los cuales el espectador puede emprender diferentes lecturas.

La muestra “DSM” nos propone una serie de visiones envolventes y elípticas, en las que cada imagen se desdobla de su real iconografía para convertirse, al mismo tiempo, en algo distinto. En este juego poético, donde la imagen siempre deviene metáfora, las imágenes de manicomios abandonados fascinan y perturban: Los apuntes a mesas de cirugías, salones abandonados, pequeños objetos abandonados y mordidos por el tiempo, aparecen como flashes mnemónicos de un recorrido por el inconsciente, el mito y el símbolo.

 Si, como pedía el escritor cubano José Lezama Lima (1910-1976), “la imagen es la causa secreta de la historia”, ya que es el motivo que penetra e impulsa al hombre, las imágenes en el quehacer de Gómez de Tuddo, hacen suya esta premisa y convierten lo aparente en revelación de lo invisible, “lo pasado” en una puerta a la posibilidad.

Demetrio Olivo, La voz de Michoacán, Morelia, 2008

 

Principio de incertidumbre
Universal Forum of Cultures
Centro de las Artes
Curator: Fernando Delmar
Monterrey, Mexico 2007

Participants: Gabriel Orozco, Francis Alys, Demián Flores, Ale de la Puente, Pedro Reyes, Manuel Rocha, Toro Lab, Mario Vargas Lugo, Damián Ortega… 

 

    Universal Forum of Cultures, Centro de las Artes, Monterrey, 2007

 


I. Artefacts – Installation

Artefact     An object produced by human work
Med.         Alteration or distortion of an object which is not part of the object itself

 

Installation Description

A vessel containing a human brain in formaldehide from an abandoned psychiatric hospital stands alone in the middle of a spyral structure, surrounded by a sound installation.
Over the translucid surface of the spyral structure walls, the MRI images of five chirurgical instruments mutate from abstract to tridemensional shapes.
The axial MRI readings are monochromatic, luminiscent projections; while the isometric ones reproduce the instrument’s shape and its artifacts, in constant pendular movement.

Elements

a)  Polycarbonate spyral held by a metallic structure
b)  Human brain in formaldehide
c)  MRI projections
d)  Sound installation

 

Artefacts (Virtual Installation)

Artefacts Sound Installation

 

 

Technical Specifications

a)  Polycarbonate spiral held by a metallic structure
The spiral is made of sixteen polycarbonate pannels (6 m high x 2.80 m wide), held by a metallic structure. Five projectors and six speakers are placed in the upper part of the structure.
When the spiral structure is armed, a white non-reflecting layer is glued to the internal face of the pannels.

b)  Main Work
A black metallic cilindrical stand (1.30 m x .26 m) is placed in the middle of the spiral sturcture. Within the cylinder, a cold light lamp lits the glass vessel containing the human brain in formaldehyde.

c)  MRI Projections
When the DVD player is turned on, five MRIs are simultaneously projected in a loop over the spyral’s internal walls.

d)  Sound Installation
The DVD player and the CD player containing the sound installation CD, must be turned on at the same time.

 

 

   

 Artefact A MRI 3D Video               Artefact B MRI Light Video                                                

 Artefact B MRI 3D Video               Artefact E MRI Light Video

Artefact C MRI 3D Video                    Artefact F MRI Light Video

Artefact D MRI 3D Video

 

 

I. Materials & Equipment

1.  Metallic structure (property of Uroboros-Basilisco)
2.  16 polycarbonate pannels (property of Uroboros-Basilisco)
3.  Five projector and six speaker metallic holders
4.  Five projectors with tilt correction
5.  Six speakers
6.  Five DVD players
7.  One CD player
8.  One cilindrical stand
9.  One cold lamp
10.Non reflecting film
11.Spiral floor carpet and cealing cover
   
 Lambda print / edition of 3 / 1.80 x 1.20 m
  
 
 
 
 

II. Photographs

(edition of 3 / measures without frame)

1. Men’s Ward I, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
180 x 120 cm

3. Strings, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
90 x 60 cm

4. Letters, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
90 x 60 cm

5. Operating Room, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
60 x 90 cm

6. Glove, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
60 x 90 cm

7. Surgical Instruments I, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
40 x 27 cm

8. Surgical Instruments II, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
40 x 27 cm
9. Surgical Instruments III, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
40 x 27 cm

10. Recreation Room, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
90 x 60 cm

11. Men’s Ward II, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
90 x 60 cm

12. Women’s Ward, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
90 x 60 cm

13. Bathroom, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
90 x 60 cm

14. Toilet Paper, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
60 x 90 cm

15. Cold Water Baths Chair, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
60 x 90 cm

16. Main Room II, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
90 x 60 cm
17. Votive Mattress, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
60 x 90 cm

18. Wheelchair, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
60 x 90 cm

19. Extreme Unction Case, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
90 x 60 cm

20. Mortuory Chamber I, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
180 x 120 cm

21. Mortuory Chamber II, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
120 x 180 cm

22. Autopsy Room, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
60 x 90 cm

23. Brains' Closet, 2005
Lambda print, 1/3
120 x 180 cm

III. X-Rays

(edition of  2)

1. Forceps, 2006
X-Ray, 1/2
46 x 53 cm

2. Anaesthetic Vial 2006
X-Ray, 1/2
46 x 53 cm

3. Chisel, 2006
X-Ray, 1/2
46 x 53 cm
4. Hook, 2006
X-Ray, 1/2
46 x 53 cm

5. Pliers, 2006
X-Ray, 1/2
46 x 53 cm

6. Separator I, 2006
X-Ray, 1/2
46 x 53 cm
7. Separator II, 2006
X-Ray, 1/2
46 x 53 cm

8. Syringe, 2006
X-Ray, 1/2
46 x 53 cm

 

x ray light box / edition of 2 / 46 x 53 cm  x ray light box / edition of 2 / 46 x 53 cm  x ray light box / edition of 2 / 46 x 53 cm

 

IV. Sculptures

1. Forceps, 2006
Satin & steel
45 x 30 x 10 cm

2. Anaesthetic Vial, 2006
Satin, steel & glass
45 x 30 x 10 cm

3. Chisel, 2006
Satin & steel
45 x 30 x 10 cm
4. Hook, 2006
Satin & steel
45 x 30 x 10 cm

5. Pliers, 2006
Satin & steel
45 x 30 x 10 cm

6. Separator I, 2006
Satin & steel
45 x 30 x 10 cm
7. Separator II, 2006
Satin & steel
45 x 30 x 10 cm

8. Syringe, 2006
Satin, steel & plastic
45 x 30 x 10 cm


V.   Drawings

(measures without frame)

1. Forceps, 2006
Pencil drawing
29.5 x 42 cm

2. Anaesthetic Vial, 2006
Pencil drawing
29.5 x 42 cm

3. Chisel, 2006
Pencil drawing
29.5 x 42 cm
4. Hook, 2006
Pencil drawing
29.5 x 42 cm

5. Pliers, 2006
Pencil drawing
29.5 x 42 cm

6. Separator I, 2006
Pencil drawing
29.5 x 42 cm
7. Separator II, 2006
Pencil drawing
29.5 x 42 cm

8. Syringe, 2006
Pencil drawing
29.5 x 42 cm

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