Exhibition | Reality by Yasmijn Karhof

Yasmijn Karhof spent three months as an artist-in-residence at the psychiatric ward of the Kings County Hospital in New York. During her meetings with patients and hospital staff, she became fascinated by our perception of reality and its subjective. Inspired by her environment, Karhof created Reality; an audio-visual installation that reflects on what it is like when things no longer seem to be what they should. 

In Reality you wander between life-size blueprints of patients and staff on hospital sheets. The characters tell on the basis of personal experiences and anecdotes what it’s like to lose grip on reality. Reality is often represented in things that are real or imaginary. There is, however, a third dimension: the subjective reality with a compelling relationship between emotion, experience and imagination. Reality makes you part of this exciting area which concerns the lived reality. 

The blueprints are printed by the photographic technique cyanotype, which give the portraits a cyan-blue colour. 

An additional and in-depth work is Reality is a fingerprint, a monumental eight-meter long tapestry developed in collaboration with the Textile Museum in Tilburg. The woven image is based on a group photo that Karhof made of staff and patients in the courtyard of the hospital. To give insight in her working process, Yasmijn Karhof distilled remarkable statements during her stay about feelings of despair, fear, confusion, paranoia or exclusion. At the end of her stay she asked the quoted people to pose together in the courtyard of the hospital while they hold a cardboard sign with their quote written on it. Reality is a fingerprint shows a cross-section of her research into our perception of reality. In this way the mental processes that take place in everyone’s mind become visible and are brought out. 

Reality invites the visitor to break free from common assumptions that include opinions, judgments, norms, values and causal relationships. Get acquainted with different experiences of reality to transcend our own experience.  

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