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The Museum of the Victim Sessions

MAAS 3601 36 Ave. 3rd. Floor , Long Island City, Queens, New York, Stati Uniti

MAAS Performance

The Museum of the Victim Sessions
Directed by artist Paco Cao

The Psychic Victim
1st event March 28th at 7pm | Screening of Titicut Follies with an introduction by Paco Cao

2nd event April TBA | Performance - Cases of Psychic Victims

36-01 36 Ave. 3rd Floor North.
Long Island City, NY 11106
T + 1 347 527 2269
Admission free

MAAS | Mandragoras Art Space and The Museum of the Victim, directed by artist Paco Cao, are conducting a one-year collaboration through 2014 to develop a series of activities and performances around the theme of the victim.

The first session of the series is entitled The Psychic Victim and is comprised of two events - a film screening, and a performance.


The first event opens with the screening of the seminal documentary Titicut Follies by master documentarian Frederick Wiseman. The film follows the lives of the patient-inmates of the Bridgewater State Hospital for the criminally insane. Due to its strong and controversial content, the film was pulled from general distribution in 1968, and only allowed back into the public domain in 1991. The screening will be preceded by an introduction on mental health in art and representation by Paco Cao.


The first programmed performance reflects on the conflicts and abuses that may occur during psychiatric treatment. We have issued an open call inviting participants who have felt victimized during psychiatric treatment and want to present their experiences publicly. The project opens with a one-day event at MAAS in which five psychic victims will share their experiences with the audience. Sitting across from each of the five presenters, a psychiatrist/psychologist, professionally unrelated to the presenters, is invited to comment on the individual's case.

This performance seeks to present the audience with an open and honest exchange between the presenter and the practitioner without pretension or sensationalization.

The participation of the practitioners is instrumental in order to present a more complex and multilateral exploration of the topic. We would like practitioners to serve as counterparts to the victims’ experiences in order to establish a dialectic dynamic. The event is not intended as a clinical experiment, and it is not expected of the practitioners to necessarily comment from a clinical perspective. We are aware of the ethical dilemmas that a practitioner may face by participating in this performance. Sharing this dilemma with the audience, and expressing the limitations of the format will be a truly valuable, and sufficient contribution. This performances is not intended to confront patients with practitioners, or to accuse mental health treatment of abuse, or victimization. We understand that practitioners are also susceptible to victimization in treatment processes.


The Museum of the Victim is a virtual museum dedicated to presenting current and historical data with the victim placed at the center of events. It does not focus on any specific period or people but rather is an ever-growing global narrative built around a complex role. The Museum of the Victim seeks to define the term victim broadly, exposing the complexity of the term as a concept. In doing so, its goal is to shed light on the events and circumstances surrounding this systematically neglected character within the context of historic and current affairs.

The Museum of the Victim strives to be as pluralistic as possible. To develop and maintain an independent and impartial attitude and a rigorous and accurate analysis, an exchange of ideas – at times confrontational ideas – is beneficial and necessary. In this spirit, The Museum of the Victim is open to and encourages contributions from other parties as well as challenges to the museum´s materials and analysis from all quarters.

Paco Cao was born in Asturias, Spain (1965.) He holds a PhD in art history from the University of Oviedo, Spain. Residing in New York since 1995, he is unfaithful to any particular medium. Employing a wide range of disciplines and materials, his work establishes a strong relationship between art, audience, and context as it challenges the boundaries between high and low culture. His work has been shown at and/or made in collaboration with MoMA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, El Museo del Barrio, The New Museum, and Creative Time in New York City; as well as El Prado Museum (Madrid, Spain), The Reina Sofía Museum (Madrid, Spain), MUSAC (León, Spain), CGAC (Santiago de Compostela, Spain), Mercosur Biennale (Porto Alegre, Brazil); Carrillo Gil Museum (México City), MART (Rovereto, Italy), MAN (Nuoro, Italy),

The Museum of Contemporary Art (Antwerp, Belgium), and BOZAR (Brussels, Belgium). He is the author of the following books: The Museum of the Victim, 2009; JP-UM, 2005; Fèlix Bermeu, A Hidden Life, 2004; Unknown, 2002, and Rent-a-Body, 1999. He is the director of the film Dance Poison (2009-2014). His work has been reviewed, among others, by The New York Times, The Village Voice, The New Yorker, The Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, ArtNews, El País, El Mundo, ABC, La razón; and La Vanguardia.

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il 29 marzo 2014

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