The title of the exhibition refers to the widespread idea that mental distress is a personal problem - a condition for which only the individual is responsible. The artists Sophie Hoyle and Barbora Kleinhamplová continuously deconstruct this notion and shed light on collective and political aspects of anxiety, illness and trauma.
As we live in a society where mental health problems and sickness have been privatised, internalised self-blame is a natural reaction. Privatization of these conditions creates an easy path to pathology. It’s Not Your Fault communicates that these experiences are perhaps not pathological but a proportionate reaction. Capitalism has laced our all spectrum of social and private life with anxiety. In this machine, we loop, we circulate. We are on display. Non-consensually choosing between fight or flight. We seek remedies, yet the widely-used ones don’t work for us.
The installation sets the works of Barbora Kleinhamplová and Sophie Hoyle into a dialogue and creates an incubator to portray our complex human experience. Their multimedia works are characterised by profound research that also builds on personal experiences. Therapeutic practices in companies portraying a laughing yoga session, pressure to perform and life in the precariat, which is critically examined in Kleinhamplová’s work, are linked to Hoyle’s work on the anxiety and trauma of living in complex systems of oppression.
The multimedia installation combines video works, writing and objects to create a repeating cycle of anxieties, neuro acoustic stimuli, curving, moving or overloaded bodies. In the vertigo of this vortex, which gives one the feeling of the motion of a machine that can hardly be interrupted, we want to speak to you: It’s Not Your Fault.
Text: Paula Durinova
Sophie Hoyle is an artist and writer based in London. Her practice explores an intersectional approach to post-colonial, queer, feminist, critical psychiatry and disability issues and looks at the relation of the personal to (and as) political, individual and collective anxieties. and how alliances can be formed where different kinds of inequality and marginalization intersect. She relates personal experiences of being queer, non-binary and part of the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) diaspora to wider forms of structural violence. From lived experience of psychiatric conditions and trauma, or PTSD, they began to explore the history of biomedical technologies rooted in state and military surveillance and control.
Her work was presented as part of Transmediale ‘For Refusal’ (2021) with APV Collective, Werkleitz Festival 2021, Psychic Refuge (online project with Forma and Unlimited, 2021), and Science Gallery London (2019).
Barbora Kleinhamplová is an artist living and working in Prague. Her work is rooted in the relationship of human existence and contemporary political and economical institutions. The script of her works derives from the existing format of group interaction, the performative dimension of her projects accents the symbolic role of body politics in current systems of power. Barbora Kleinhamplová is a co-founder of the artist institution Institute of Anxiety. She received the Jindřich Chalupecký Award (2015) and her work has been exhibited at Futura Gallery Prague (2021), Drdova Gallery Prague (2019), Savvy Contemporary Berlin (2018) Jakarta Biennale (2017), 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016), The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York (2016), New Museum, New York (2014), or Astrup Farnley Museet, Oslo (2014).