The exhibition project Middle Gate II – The Story of Dymphna is a collaboration between M HKA (Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp) and the cultural centre de Werft in Geel. Middle Gate II is the follow up to the exhibition Middle Gate, curated by Jan Hoet in Geel in 2013. The exhibition concept is closely tied to the legend of the holy Dymphna, saint of the possessed, the mentally ill and patroness against epilepsy and insanity. The legend of Dymphna shares a strong connection to the identity of Geel, "the charitable city".

Middle Gate Geel '13

image: (c)Hans Vangeel
29 September - 19 January 2014
Stadsbestuur Geel, Geel

Middle Gate Geel ’13 concentrates on three main domains: myth, psychiatry, and art. More specifically, it sets out to analyse the mutual interaction between mythical or magic-religious art, outsider art and art-as-art, ignoring differences and focussing instead on connections and links, affinities and parallels with respect to these three phenomena. This exhibition wants to do more than just ‘compile’ a number of works that somehow refer to the three main phenomena. It has no intention of providing clear-cut answers – it merely wants to disorder and disturb what we thought we know. Through the combination of myths with psychiatry and art, this exhibition seeks to create a mental space capable of yielding insights about the assumption of what art is – or could be.

By its historical and current context, the city Geel is giving an extra dimension to the exhibition since it is one of the most unique places in the world in terms of psychiatric care and more specifically family care.
Psychiatric patients of the Public Psychiatric Care Centre (OPZ) are included in foster families for centuries. The dialogue between patients and non-patients is central. The exhibition will make full use of this context and seeks to continue this dialogue and intensify.

You can find the complete list of artworks shown at Middle Gate Geel ’13 here: LIST