Theraputic Milieu
Spring 2015

Wood, latex & acrylic paints, oil stick, leather straps, nickel-silver buckles, fabric from a hospital gown.

96 x 33 x 2 inches

I was compelled to make this piece by the research I was doing for my undergraduate thesis project, in particular Foucault’s Madness and Civilization as well as a 2014 article. The article exposed the abusive use of electric shocks administered to punish patients living at a Massachusetts mental hospital, Judge Rotenberg Center. There was also a video of an autistic patient being strapped to a board and shocked over 30 times. He was being punished for his inability to suppress self-harming tendencies and repetitive rhythmic body movements, which are both behaviors exhibited by many people on the Autism Spectrum.

One reason I choose to include this piece was to represent my earlier work and serve as a reference point for considering the evolution of my practice.

[Article:Burkholder, Amy, and Anna Werner. "Controversy over Shocking People with Autism, Behavioral Disorders." CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 5 Aug. 2014. Web. 12 Apr. 20]

︎ Lexicon

Allison Arkush