Outer World, Inner World
06.05 – 27.05.2022
The notion of mental health is a historical and cultural construct and in every era, the “mentally ill” have been defined on the basis of their deviation from the norm. However, these days, there is a general consensus that mental health is “a state of balance between an individual and their environment”. This exhibition focuses on the relationship between setting and subject, collective and individual, public and private, exterior and interior. Inspired by INSTITUTO’s location inside a block, hidden away from the urban setting outside, we draw an analogy between the urban space and corpus and the human condition in relation to the environment.
‘Outer World, Inner World’ reflects on how ‘external’ factors play a crucial role in ‘individual’ wellbeing and on how structural, social, cultural and economic constraints can jeopardise mental health. With this approach, we aim to move beyond the idea of an individual battle against the stigma of mental illness. Instead, we aim to raise awareness of the vital relationship between mental health, perception and use of space, and urbanity. By critically reflecting on the way in which we inhabit our cities, especially Porto, we question how the infrastructures, models and practices that shape our everyday lives can exclude, harm, isolate, dehumanise and stigmatise, putting people’s mental health at risk.
Starting outside and guiding visitors through the INSTITUTO space, the exhibition invites them to share their everyday socio-environmental experiences and to play their part in creating a habitat that is conducive to wellbeing and mental health.
Coordination: Margarida Silva, Paulo Moreira
Participants: Daniela Vieitas, João Ana, Raquel Rocha, Rui Magalhães
Editorial Assistance: Andreia Faria
Assembly: José Silva e Flávio Silva, JR Gráfica
Photography: Ivo Tavares and Raquel Rocha
Support: DG Artes/Ministry of Culture and Criatório, Ágora – Cultura e Desporto, E.M.