Date: Tue 17 June
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Mental illness seems to be on the rise; one in four of us will experience some form of mental ill heath in our lives - some statistics put that number at closer to 1 in 2. In 2012 around 50 million prescriptions for anti-depressants were written - anxiety is amongst the most common symptoms.
Is half the population struggling with their minds? Are psychiatrists over diagnosing? Or are changing attitudes making it easier to seek help? And what about you? You are not a statistic, you’re a person with a free mind. How’s your mental health.
If the boundaries between madness and ‘normality’ are blurred, how do we define what is a mental illness, and what isn’t? As part of acting-out: the insitution denied, this new performative event by the vacuum cleaner invites you to delve into your own mind, to be assessed for common mental health conditions, whilst testing the current processes of diagnosis.
Disclaimer: Whilst this piece uses real Mental Health Assessment tools, it should not be seen as a valid or clinical alternative to seeking professional support with your mental health.
the vacuum cleaner is an art and activism collective of one. He employs various creative legal and illegal tactics to mock, vandalise and disrupt concentrations of power. Through site-specific performance, street-based intervention and film, the vacuum cleaner empowers his audience to address socio-political issues including consumerism and mental health discrimination. From one-man shows to large-scale participatory actions, his approach is variously subtle and extreme, but always candid, provocative and playful.
His work has been commissioned and exhibited internationally, including at Tate Modern, ICA, Fierce Festival, the Centre for Contemporary Art Glasgow, the Liverpool Biennial, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Wooster Collective (USA), Anti Festival (Finland), Centre d’Art Contemporain (Switzerland), Hebbel-Am-Ufer, Tanztendenz (Germany), Khoj Live 08 (India). His films have been commissioned by BBC4, Channel 4 and Arte. the vacuum cleaner is an Artsadmin Associate Artist
The Visual Arts programme is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Discover more about: Visual arts
Commissioned by Anxiety 2014 in collaboration with the Cultural Institute at King’s College London.
Co-produced with SMHAFF
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