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Marat Sade Bohnice

Running concurrently with Art in the Asylum is a new video installation by Canadian Artist Althea Thauberger, featuring a filmed performance of Peter Weiss's 1963 play Marat/Sade at the Bohnice Pyschiatric Hospital, Prague in 2012. Marat/Sade imagines the infamous Marquis de Sade as an author and director of a play about the bloody assassination of Jean-Paul Marat while the former was interned in the Charenton asylum in 1808. A time of great institutional reform, this period saw the beginnings of the reformation of the treatment of mental illness from punishment to therapy. In the 1963 play, the inmates of the asylum enact the drama, and are always partly themselves, as patients, and partly in historical character. While the original play is set in the bathhouse of Charenton, Thauberger's filmed production is performed to an audience of staff and patients in another post-revolutionary institution: Bohnice, the largest psychiatric clinic in the Czech Republic. Characteristic of her collaborative projects with specific social groups or communities, Thauberger's film includes interviews with psychiatric staff and patients at Bohnice giving the participants a voice and raising questions about the institutionalisation, power and self-determination.