Ideal Newspaper No.4 - Trance Mission - 2015
Trance Mission is a platform through which Lado Darakhvelidze was able to connect with, and respond to, the locality and life of the psychiatric institution of Altrecht during his three-month residency at Het Vijfde Seizoen. The project explored art as a potent field to experiment with modes of communication, using site-specific techniques and tools to gather and analyse information flows.
The initial contact between the institution’s residents, therapists, and personnel came through Darakhvelidze use of modified newspapers as a basic module of communicative exchange. By erasing the larger content of existing newspapers, only headlines and images are left as prompters beside white spaces waiting to be filled in. The artist thereby invites the consumers of the local and international news to instead become co-producers of information. The tactic is one of free-association common to both psychoanalytic and artistic practices.
The newspapers circulated in Altrecht amongst the clients, students, helpers, therapists and even a group of local squatters, who responded to the headlines and images by sharing their realities or fictional stories and thereby producing personalized news. What emerged is a polyphony of co-existing perspectives onto economics, politics, arts and sports, and in which mainstream and aesthetic modes of journalism are woven into the realities and imaginaries of the psychiatric institution.
During Darakhvelidze’s residency, students of the ArtEZ Fine Arts department were invited to join him and Anik Fournier (Contemporary Arts theory teacher ArtEZ) at De Vijfde Seizoen. After having been introduced to Altrecht’s institutional rules, facilities, personnel and clients by means of distributing and collecting the Trance Mission newspapers, the students gradually formed groups around site-specific issues they wanted to further explore and work with in their own experiments with art broadcasting. The students experimented with bringing various representations in tension with each other with the aim of revealing the quotidian dynamics of a fragile and complex social reality.
Design: Corine van der Wal