• Sweden edition
 
'Psychotic' art student trial opens

'Psychotic' art student trial opens

Published: 24 Aug 2009 08:58 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Aug 2009 08:58 GMT+02:00

Odell denies the charges of false alarm, violent resistance and fraudulent practice and her lawyer, Claes Borgström, argues that she will not be the biggest loser in the event of a conviction.

"It is more likely to have consequences for the art world and for journalists," Borgström said, according to a report in the Expressen newspaper.

Borgström was referring to the charge of "fraudulent practice" which means that she is accused of causing financial damage, although without profit.

If convicted Odell faces up to two years imprisonment. She is also the subject of a claim for 12,000 kronor ($1,700) compensation from North Stockholm Psychiatry.

The charges against 35-year-old Odell date back to January 21st 2009 when she was detained by police on Stockholm's Liljeholmen bridge following what at first appeared to be an attempt to commit suicide.

She was then taken to the psychiatric ward at St. Göran's Hospital for treatment, only to reveal the following day that the whole episode had been faked as a part of her final art exam at University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (Konstfack).

Odell, who has a history of mental illness, explained that she was highlighting deficiencies in Sweden's psychiatric care which she has argued to be "the most dictatorial part of society we have" where "patients are sometimes not believed".

While her actions have drawn criticism from police and medical staff, the opening of the exhibition of her work at the college in May generated a great deal of interest in the art world and wider media.

Anna Odell's trial at Stockholm District Court is expected to be concluded on Monday afternoon.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

13:14 August 24, 2009 by DidiE
What an incredible waste of scarce resources. The biggest losers here are not the Art World, but taxpayers, and particularly families who have loved ones with severe mental illness. How are we supposed to have our concerns about treatment taken seriously, when stuff like this happens? I'm a full time care giver to an adult son with schizophrenia, and trust me, there is nothing artistic at all about psychoses. Actions like the one described in this article do NOT win any sympathy from bystanders, do not raise awareness of the need for effective treatments for psychoses, and do not stimulate debate about mandatory care for psychotic people. Rather, actions like this create a further sense that it's okay to ignore suffering- the guy talking to himself who is clearly agitated, and living under the tunnelbana is just an art student, right, so why should we care?

This was a cynical action by one person, done to promote her own career and view point, but unfortunately, it will affect many many families in Sweden, many of whom do not at all agree with her.
13:40 August 24, 2009 by Puffin
I feel sorry the person in need of psychiatric care who was forced to wait for care - or turned away from the hospital that night because she was occupying resources for her school project.

Plus the victims of real crimes that evening that couldn't get a policeofficer as 2 units were dealing with her play acting
13:52 August 24, 2009 by Sensiblenick
Lock her up for a year in a psych' unit.

"We'll assess you again in 12 months"

... "But I'm SANE!"

"We know, but in your cell you'll be an *art installation*. We thought that you - of all people - would understand and appreciate the beauty of this.. Seeya."
13:55 August 24, 2009 by eZee.se
Ironic, but she is a nutcase.

Art world my masterpiece ass!

I hope they throw the book at this moron, give her 2 years in the pen so she can come out and write about how they mistreat inmates in prison and how inmates are not believed etc etc.
16:13 August 24, 2009 by mcfluffle
Her act could be used as a means to open discussion on mental health reform if everyone wasn't so quick to jump on a soapbox and rip her a new one. It's one thing to denounce an action and use it as a stepping stone for proper action, quite another to beat a dead horse senseless.
16:39 August 24, 2009 by DidiE
If the huge numbers of untreated, psychotic people seen every day in the subways and on the streets haven't spurred action, if their need hasn't been seen as need for proper action, then why would a make-believe act do so? This drama was self-serving at best, and may have well caused even deeper prejudice against those who really do have to live with the hell of psychoses, each day. I don't want her to go to jail- I would simply be happy with an apology, but I have a feeling I'll be waiting forever.
16:46 August 24, 2009 by Puffin
Well personally, speaking as the wife of someone who works in healthcare - I don't see why my husband should be subject to being hit and kicked for the sake of someone's art project

Did you see the film from the CCTV of her kicking at the police up of the bridge - not to mention the potential for danger that she created with the police forced to stop in busy lanes of traffic to save - as far as they knew - a woman from committing suicide.

One of the biggest current problems for mental health faced by Sweden is that 40-50% of psychiatrist posts are not filled and many hospitals are running on bed occupancy of over 100%. Doctors are forced to prioritise and if the admit a person - someone else is refused a place or they have to discharge another

Odell is just immature and attention seeking - she should grow up - at almost 36 you can't even write her actions off as a youthful error
22:20 August 24, 2009 by Nemesis
When quoting the costs in Krona, why does the local also quote in dollars. The euro is the nearest large currency.

As for the subject of the story.

This woman was previously in a mental institution. She does have an issue with mental health care professionals.

However that does nto give her the right to attack police officers.
22:41 August 24, 2009 by southaustralian
The court case needs to go ahead as this girl has shown no regret for or insight into what she has done. Health professionals and police daily put themselves into danger to help people and this trust must not be abused.
01:09 August 25, 2009 by I Love it when ...
people these days are so messed up.
03:11 August 25, 2009 by kemaste
I think this moron's next endeavor should be an art project on life behind bars. What an egotistical, insensitive twit!
Today's headlines
Stockholm Pride 2014
Stockholm Pride bars Sweden Democrats
Photos: Henrik Montgomery/Fredrik Persson/TT

Stockholm Pride bars Sweden Democrats

While a record number of ministers and party leaders will participate in the Stockholm Pride Parade this year, there are notable exceptions - including SD leader Jimmie Åkesson, who is not only 'uninterested' but banned. READ  

Gender neutral 'hen' enters dictionary
Soon 'hen' will be found on this page. Photo: The Local

Gender neutral 'hen' enters dictionary

The ever-controversial pronoun 'hen' has won its battle and is set to officially become part of the Swedish language. READ  

Pines, polska and magic: Urkult Music Festival
Photo: Danny Chapman/The Local

Pines, polska and magic: Urkult Music Festival

The Urkult music festival in northern Sweden may be less sex, drugs and rock'n'roll and more family fun, chai and polska dancing - but Danny Chapman says it’s one of the most magical Swedish experiences he has had. READ  

Presented by Stockholm Business Region
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
You want one of these. Photo: Skatteverket

Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm

When it comes to data-driven life, from daycare to healthcare, Sweden is in a league of its own. Above all, your personal number is the key that unlocks life in Stockholm. READ  

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

All aboard! We're off to the island of Gotland for our Property of the Week - a home right in the heart of Medieval Visby. Whether you're looking to buy or dying to look - this is the place for you. READ  

Stockholm Pride 2014
Stockholm Pride glides into seventeenth year
Stockholm Pride. Photo: Erik Mårtensson/TT

Stockholm Pride glides into seventeenth year

The largest pride festival in Scandinavia is back for the 17th year in a row. The week promises to be packed with activities - and a glamorous opening gala with Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst. READ  

Preschool teacher arrested for child rape
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Preschool teacher arrested for child rape

A man has been arrested on the suspicion of raping a child at the preschool where he is employed. READ  

Police arrest 17 people after fatal shooting
Police at the scene. Photo: Niklas Luks/TT

Police arrest 17 people after fatal shooting

Seventeen people were arrested during the early hours of Tuesday after a man was shot dead in central Sweden. Several of the suspects were already known to the police for gang crimes. READ  

Cops find 15kg cocaine stash in woman's car

Cops find 15kg cocaine stash in woman's car

A 35-year-old woman faces charges for aggravated narcotic crimes after police found 15 kilogrammes of unusually high-concentrated cocaine in her car. READ  

Opinion
The top six ways the US and Sweden differ

The top six ways the US and Sweden differ

Back home in the US and with a solid Swedish stint under his belt, contributor Steven Schier has listed what he thinks are the six biggest differences between Sweden and the states. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Gallery
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Blog updates

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

 

24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »

 
 
 
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

732
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se