Fotograf Magazine

Michal Heiman

Winking and Attacks on Linking

As a person interested in the history of psychiatric and scientific photography in the 19th century, the most exciting thing for me in Michal Heiman’s work is the way in which she makes those strange, painful, and complex photographs resurrect, gain new relevance, and challenge fixed perceptions regarding documentation and testimony, therapy and manipulation, science and art. Her work moves franticly in many directions, past and present, personal and public, canonical and current. She is uprooting images from art books, daily magazines, hospitals archives, asylums folders, and family albums. In my mind, she penetrates into images, attacks and moves them, and tries to rehabilitate them. In her work, the history of photography doesn’t rest peacefully in a sealed past, inasmuch as psychoanalytic treatment most likely doesn’t rest sealed in a clinic.

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#24 seeing is believing