Amela Frankl (HR) With and without them

video installation, 2010

Recently, I met a person diagnosed with mental illness. I didn't know anything about the gravity or origin of the illness. The person was composed and spoke of her work with confidence, asking me for advice in the realization of a project she was planning, carefully listening and taking notes while I was speaking. Her comments on my answers and my opinions with logical and sharp. I felt insecure. I thought that if I said something wrong she would think I was fooling her; I was afraid that my insecurity would cause undesired reactions. This short and impressive encounter motivated me to realize the project With and without them in the Vrapče Psychiatric Hospital in Zagreb.

With and without them is a work about my own experience of madness. Recording my own feelings and reactions during the three weeks I spent visiting and talking to patients at the male department of integral psychiatry of the Vrapče Psychiatric Hospital in Zagreb, I tried to clarify some of my own personal questions as well as to find answers to them. How do I perceive a mentally ill person? What disturbs me when I think about madness? With and without them is a self-portrait, a video document of my dilemmas, doubts, and optimism.


Amela Frankl (HR)

Amela Frankl was born in 1963 in Zagreb. Sheearned a BFA, painting major, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1988. Her work mostly focuses on intimate states of mind, such as loneliness, fragility of hope, necessity for creative abstinence etc. Often choosing a radically minimalist approach, Frankl manages to adopt and transform the subject matter of her works. Since 2006 she has realized numerous projects in Zagreb, Rovinj, Labin, and other places.