Installation artist Anna Schuleit brings back to life historic sites and structures through original [...]interpretations. Much of her work, as discussed in the video, honors the lives lived within mental-health institutions by transforming abandoned facilities into moving, site-specific memorials. For Habeas Corpus (2000), Schuleit installed Massachusetts’ historic Northampton State Hospital with speakers and played a recording of J. S. Bach’s Magnificat to an audience of former patients, caregivers, and hundreds of others. To mark the closing of the Massachusetts Mental Health Center’s original building in Boston (Bloom, 2003), she and a corps of volunteers blanketed the structure’s empty hallways with flowering plants—begonias, lilies, pink heather, tulips—and played recordings of ambient sounds from the hospital’s former life.
Born in Germany, Schuleit studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design and has been an artist-in-residence and guest lecturer at MIT, Smith College, Brown University, and Bowdoin College. She was named a MacArthur Foundation recipient in 2006.
Contemporary Perspectives Lecture Series.
Hosted by College of Fine Arts School of Visual Arts on October 4, 2010.