Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Performance art for mental illness:

We all know that mental illness still has an attached social stigma. Public education that furthers facts as regards the same is always more welcome... Like someone said, mental illness is not really an illness, it is just another mental state an individual is capable of experiencing. I do not fully subscribe to that viewpoint especially in light of the recent shootings, but I like the approach taken by performance artist Arnd Drossel who gained quite some eyeballs when he decided to get into a steel metal ball and roll acoss a German town in his quest for increasing awareness about psychiatric patients. He seemed to have rolled into a tiger pen at a German zoo today causing quite a stir…

You can read more about his exploits here and here
The eye of the tiger, or perhaps more importantly the teeth, are a little too close for comfort. But Arnd Drossel appears to have at least baffled the beasts, if not tamed them, with his spherical steel enclosure.

Through his project, the 38-year-old Drossel hopes to bring attention to the plight of people suffering psychiatric illnesses. He began his journey in Dorsten, the town of his birth, on April 17. Planning to cover around 20 kilometers a day, Drossel hopes to finish his journey by April 28. He's even planning on sleeping in the ball.

The cause is also personal for Drossel who suffered his own bout of severe depression a year ago. He came upon the idea of a ball because he felt it would signify the inner balance that’s needed for recovery. Drossel is collecting financial donations on his journey that will be used to further the cause.

Constructed out of 250 bent stainless steel rods, the sphere weighs about 120 kilograms (265 pounds).
I ripped the image above from today's online edition of The Daily Mail.

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