When Anna Odell staged a psychosis of Liljeholmsbron in Stockholm a chilly January evening in 2009, she could not predict the outcome. But the surroundings offered a generous amount of reactions that could be incorporated into her art projects.
The thoughtful people on the bridge as wrapped a jacket around her and summoned help, the police officers who first gently but then increasingly precisely tried to get her into the police car and in the end the staff at the psychiatric emergency department immediately put her in a Belt bed. Everything went according to the project plan and the hoax was revealed the next morning.
What Anna Odell had not counted on was the storm of anger would be directed against her after the media got wind of it whole. She received death threats and had to have bodyguards, both politicians and so-called ordinary people railed against her actions and toward contemporary art in general. Northern Stockholm Psychiatry reported to the police artist.
Anna Odell was tenaciously not explaining anything until the work was finished to appear. Once it became clear that the project stemmed from a personal experience of mental illness and involuntary wind turned. The threats stopped and more and more raised their voices to the artist’s defense. At trial demonstrated the members of the National Association for Social and Mental Health to support her.
Now Kulturhuset show Unknown Woman 2009-349701 , the project has grown to be about much more than a review of psychiatry, everything that has happened has been transposed. A room with newspaper clippings show the medial process of hostility to the recognition.
You can also listen to a recording of the trial, in which the artist is convicted of “dishonestly procedure”. (Here is irritated, however, that the subtitles contain misspellings and split compounds, which is surprising unprofessional.) As a whole it is a powerful documentation of the forces that can be set in motion by an artistic act.
This form of wallraffande would probably not have attracted so much hatred if it occurred outside the art context. It is the contemporary concept of art that arouses anger.
Odell succeed by absorbing these expressions and making them a part of his work to some extent disarm them. Meanwhile, it is hard not to with a shudder draw historical parallels to the Nazi hatred of modernism.
In an epilogue in 40 minutes takes a kind of attempt at interpretation that is not only clean documentation. It is a sampling of various television and radio spots and interviews – a jumble of voices who most condemn but also defends the artist. Anna Odell presents itself as much more vulnerable here.
In a section she asks if she is healthy and playing sick or if she is sick, and play healthy. Focus is on the artist as a person, despite her with great integrity always maintained that her project certainly has a personal basis, but not at all personally, but a way to reflect power structures. There is an inconsistency in an otherwise consistent work.
Anna Odell has been with Unknown Woman 2009-349701 wrote himself into the history of art, it is a work that worked explosively self-generating and brought out both the best and worst in people and institutions . For the artist, it has only been to keep a cool head and reap the benefits.