The interdisciplinary festival Extravagant Bodies was initiated in 2007 and is part of Kontejner´s longstanding curatorial and discursive programme line dealing with the ideological, social and cultural production of narratives of “illness” and “health”. It was launched as a triennial project, each edition taking on a specific focus. Extravagant Bodies: Extravagant minds was the second output, which tried to emphasize the social implications of mental illnesses and disorders and offered an artistic and discursive platform for questioning the issue of mental health from the perspective of people who are themselves marked as persons with mental disorders and intellectual disabilities.
The catalogue for Extravagant Bodies: Extravagant Minds is an edition of almost three hundred pages and five hundred copies aimed at shedding new light to the complex issues regarding mental health.
The publication itself is divided into three main parts – Exhibition, performance, theatre, film, Conference, and Reader. The first part of the publication functions as a traditional art catalogue form providing basic information and visual material about the exhibited works and short CVs of each of the 17 artists and organizations taking part in the exhibition. The conference part of this book is the written equivalent of the texts presented and discussed at the conference that took place on the last two days of the festival, the 23rd and 24th of October 2010. The four panels focused on different aspects of mental health – How We Became Mad, Doctoring the Mind, Mad in the Arts, and Extravagant Minds. The third part of this publication, the reader, encompasses several theoretical frameworks of the festival and its concepts by introducing seminal texts from renowned authors.
Among the authors and presenters at the conference were philosophers and sociology experts, experts in the filed of psychology and psychiatric treatment, art theoreticians and curators/directors as well as members of the Association for Self-Advocacy presenting their first-hand experiences concerning the topics of institutionalization and everyday social stigmatization.
The publication is bilingual (Croatian/English).