Michal Heiman, Radical Link: A New Community of Women, 1855-2022, Mask: “Plate 34: My Self,” detail from a manipulated photograph by Dr. Hugh W. Diamond, 1855, 2016, photograph. Courtesy of the artist.


Michal Heiman: Chronically Linked

Thursday, Sept 8 - Saturday, Dec 10, 2022

Main Gallery & Mezzanine


Featuring photographs, videos, and archival materials, Michal Heiman: Chronically Linked explores the intersections of psychoanalysis, asylums, and oppression through a number of recent projects including Michal Heiman Tests (1997-2012); Radical Link: A New Community of Women, 1855-2021 (2013-present); and Hearing (2020). 

The latter projects found their genesis in 2013 when Heiman, doing research for another project, encountered a photograph of a young woman taken around 1855 at the Surrey County Lunatic Asylum in London by Dr. Hugh Welch Diamond. A few years later, Heiman found a similar image, this of Maria Dominica D’Alberto who was photographed by Oreste Bertani at the San Servolo Asylum in Venice in January 1880. Heiman recognized a version of herself in both images, thus setting her on a path to recontextualize the photographs through her artistic process and research. In particular, she considers the political, cultured, gendered, and psychic conditions of “return” -- both returns to the past and rights of return.  

Heiman also explores her life through psychoanalysis, importing diagnostic and psychoanalytic methods into her own artistic practice. Her Michal Heiman Tests (M.H.T.s) are modeled after the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), devised in the 1930s and still used today, in which clients interpret cards featuring ambiguous figures. Heiman’s conceptual works, themselves grounded in the practice of photography, are composed of archival detritus salvaged by the artist.

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Last Updated: 8/22/22