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Mary Patten
Panel
December 4, 2015-January 10, 2016

Mary Patten Panel

In 1975, Sylvère Lotringer organized “Schizo Culture,” a symposium on schizophrenia and radical politics at Columbia University. Panel is based on a discussion there between philosopher Michel Foucault, radical psychiatrist R. D. Laing, the Insane Liberation Front’s Howie Harp, and radical prisoners’ advocate Judith Clark. The obscure, potent transcript – on doctors, torture, and coercive uses of therapy in prisons and mental institutions – is clearly an artifact of the 1970s, but also eerily relevant to contemporary torture “debates.”

Panel originally manifested at threewalls (Chicago) as a 4-channel, performance-based video installation, a suite of four large prints – each corresponding to and mirroring one of the video installation channels – and a very large wall drawing. In 2014 I adapted the installation to single-channel video, projected here at Vox. Panel also included a collaborative reading and a live re-rendition of the original performance.

Institution/Panel, featuring Rebecca Zorach’s “restaging” of an excerpt of Félix Guattari’s untranslated 1972 Psychanalyse et transversalité, is a mini-catalog that departs from the conventional critical essay on an artist’s work. Zorach’s translation of Guattari’s fragment entitled “The institution” is interspersed with her own episodic commentary, mapping the linguistic and art historical genealogies of “panel,” and engaging the negative spaces and gaps in the installation.

Mary Patten has exhibited / screened installations, videos, artists’ books, and mixed media projects for over thirty years in alternative spaces, university museums, and film/video festivals, including threewalls, the Chicago Cultural Center, N.I.U. Art Museum, Gallery 400, Randolph St. Gallery, Creative Time (with Feel Tank Chicago), Art in General, The Cooper Union, the New Museum/NYC, Shedhalle/Zürich, Kunstverein and Kunsthaus (Hamburg), artMbassy (Berlin), Rotterdam International Film Festival, London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, the Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, MIX, and Women in the Director’s Chair. Her book Revolution as an Eternal Dream: the Exemplary Failure of the Madame Binh Graphics Collective was published by Half Letter Press in 2011. She devotes energy to ambitious collaborative and public projects like Chicago Torture Justice Memorials and Feel Tank Chicago. Since 1993 she has been teaching in the Film, Video, New Media, and Animation Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.