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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter 2021

Art and Dementia – Pause – Wake Up: The Aesthetics of Artistic Creativity in People Living with Dementia

From the book Arts & Dementia

  • Oliver Schultz


How we view dementia has a great deal to do with how we see art created by people living with the condition. Viewed from a phenomenological perspective, the aesthetical phenomenon of plain visibility is distinguished from that of simple visibility, which has led to considering simplicity as a figure of thought in traditional ontological and metaphysical epistemology. The interpretation of artistic expression based on medically influenced judgments is met with criticism here. In this particular case, the artwork of designer Carolus Horn, who lives with dementia, is assessed from the viewpoint unusual behavior that can be attributed to dementia. The concept of dementia as a condition and the central perspective as a dominant principle of order are reflected as rules aiming to simplify the originality and ambiguous visibility of that art and, ultimately, to silence it. Using drawings as a means of diagnosing dementia is viewed critically. Finally, an original and aesthetic perspective on art created by people living with dementia is presented, which is intended to ‘wake up’ the multifaceted visibility of this art.

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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