The Divided Self

February 7 - March 4, 2018

We all know from our personal experience that we can be ourselves only in and through our world and there is a sense in which 'our' world will die with us although 'the' world will go on without us.
R. D. Laing

Pera Film’s The Divided Self program presented in conjunction with the exhibition Look At Me! Portraits and Other Fictions from the ”la Caixa” Contemporary Art Collection takes its title from R. D. Laing’s 1960 seminal book The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness. Ronald David Laing, a Scottish psychiatrist, wrote extensively on mental illness – in particular, the subjective experience of psychosis. Laing's views on the causes and treatment of serious mental dysfunction, greatly influenced by existential philosophy, ran counter to the psychiatric orthodoxy of the day by taking the expressed feelings of the individual patient or client as valid descriptions of lived experience rather than simply as symptoms of some separate or underlying disorder. As the exhibition Look At Me! delves deep into the form of the portrait through identity, representation and convention, Pera Film’s The Divided Self proposes a similar reflection through the subject of psychiatry in the moving image. The selection highlights the work and life of Laing through striking documentaries and video works such asAsylum, Did You Used to be R.D. Laing?, Family Life and Reading Film from ‘Knots’ by R.D.Laing. In this frame work, the program includes Scottish filmmaker Lynne Ramsay’s Morvern Callar adapted from Alan Warner's 1995 novel about a young woman from a small town in Western Scotland who hopes to use her boyfriend's sudden suicide as her springboard to freedom. Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, on the other hand was a study of the fraught and complex relationship between a mother and her son, who grows up to become a multiple murderer. The Divided Self program also salutes recent cinematic journeys, which explore identity, individualism and the ego such as Nicolas Winding Refn’s Neon Demon, Eliza Hittman’s Beach Rats and Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Laing eloquently puts it as “We are bemused and crazed creatures, strangers to our true selves, to one another, and to the spiritual and material world - mad, even, from an ideal standpoint we can glimpse but not adopt.”

This program’s screenings are free of admissions. Drop in, no reservations.

February 7

19:00 Did You Used to be R.D. Laing?

February 10

14:00 Family Life

February 11

14:00 Morvern Callar

16:00 We Need to Talk About Kevin

February 16

19:00 The Killing of a Sacred Deer

21:00 The Neon Demon

February 17

16:00 Did You Used to be R.D. Laing?

18:00 We Need to Talk About Kevin

February 18

18:00 The Neon Demon

February 23

19:00 Family Life

21:00 Beach Rats

March 2

19:00 Asylum

Reading Film from ‘Knots’ by R.D. Laing

March 3

14:00 Beach Rats

16:00 Morvern Callar

18:00 Asylum

Reading Film from ‘Knots’ by R.D. Laing

March 4

16:00 The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Asylum

Asylum

Did You Used to be R.D. Laing?

Did You Used to be R.D. Laing?

Reading Film from ‘Knots’ by R.D. Laing

Reading Film from ‘Knots’ by R.D. Laing

Family Life

Family Life

Morvern Callar

Morvern Callar

We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About Kevin

The Neon Demon

The Neon Demon

Beach Rats

Beach Rats

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Program Trailer

The Divided Self

As the exhibition Look At Me! delves deep into the form of the portrait through identity, representation and convention, Pera Film’s The Divided Self proposes a similar reflection through the subject of psychiatry in the moving image.

Look At Me!

The exhibition Look At Me! Portraits and Other Fictions from the ”la Caixa” Contemporary Art Collection examined portraiture, one of the oldest artistic genres, through a significant number of works of our times. Paintings, photographs, sculptures and videos shaped a labyrinth of gazes that invite spectators to reflect themselves in the social mirror of portraits.

Look At Me!

Cameria (Mihrimah Sultan)

Cameria (Mihrimah Sultan)

Based on similar examples by the European painters in various collections, this work is one of the portraits of Mihrimah Sultan, who was depicted rather often in the 16th century.

At the Order of the Padishah

At the Order of the Padishah

In this piece, Żmurko presents an exotic image of a harem chamber, replete with gleaming fabrics and scattered jewels, as a setting for the statuesquely beautiful body of an odalisque murdered “at the order of the padishah”. 

Wondrous Cures in Constantinople

Wondrous Cures in Constantinople

The shrines that created the glory of Constantinople through their lavish beauty were also repositories of precious relics and thus sources of healing.