L’Osservanza (The Observance)

Site-specific installation
mixed slide-projections on exterior building walls
ex-psychiatric Hospital, Imola, Italy

About this work

Projected on the exterior walls of a former internment hospital for the mentally ill, Wolf’s L’Osservanza, titled after the name of the sanatorium itself, consisted of slide images of nurses and patients formerly confined to the asylum, as well as phrases shared with the artist by contemporary patients in the modernized therapeutic institution. A commissioned project by the hospital, Wolf lived within the institution for three days. While there, he established a verbal dialogue and relationship with the patients to understand their lives and points of view as inmates within a complex who were no longer secluded behind an impenetrable wall, but who’s everyday lives were still not integrated into the outside world.

By projecting the phrases spoken by patients onto the exterior walls of the institution, Wolf gave voice to a population often overlooked by the rest of society.

Phrases spoken by the patients and projected onto the buildings included:

Cercasi amico sincero
Looking for a sincere friend

Il castello di sabbia
The sand castle

La città proibita
The forbidden city

Basta assumere sembianze
It is sufficient to assume the likeness

La malattia del vento
The disease of the wind

Lasciati portare dalla vita
Let yourself be taken by the wind