Art Review

BEIS #8 | Crítica Javier Viver

Archive of the Unclassifiable

The mirror of madness
(Madrid, from May 31 to July 28, 2018)

There is something disturbing and painful in madness. There is madness in Art, and there is also madness in Science. But the way to approach it is very different depending on which eye you look at. If Science tries to enclose, rehabilitate and eradicate madness in man, considering it a disease, Art observes it, stripped of prejudices, and delves into its inherence to reveal the beauty of its condition. There is also beauty in madness.

Javier Viver (Madrid, 1971) explores the uniqueness of Art and Science in the madness of human nature. It also explores the relationship between the processes of madness and those of creation. His work, Archive of the unclassifiable, shows a selection of photographs of the Iconography of the Salpêtrière, one of the first photographic archives in the field of clinical psychiatry, captured in the Parisian Hospital of the Salpêtrière, more than a century ago.

The images constitute a museum of pathological poses, where the body, as an object of psychiatric study, becomes an artistic subject, the muse of madness. The gaze of the patients transmits a phlegmatic restlessness, and the visitor looks for himself in the wrinkles, in the gestures, the malformations, trying not to be found.


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