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Art student convicted over faked psychosis

Art student convicted over faked psychosis

Published: 31 Aug 2009 13:35 GMT+02:00
Updated: 31 Aug 2009 13:35 GMT+02:00

Art student Anna Odell has been fined by Stockholm District Court after acting out a faked suicide attempt as part of an art project.

Odell was found guilty of violent resistance and fraudulent practice and was ordered to pay a fine of 25,000 kronor ($3,500).

Odell had denied the charges of false alarm, violent resistance and fraudulent practice, 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.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:19 August 31, 2009 by eZee.se
I'm disappointed, i was hoping this loony would get some jail time as well, forgot for a minute - this is Sweden.
15:35 August 31, 2009 by Scornful_Luigi
Pyschosis? A spelling mistake like that in the main page really hurts. If you can't spell, you should't be allowed to work for a newspaper.
17:04 August 31, 2009 by tommycapes
she looks like a right nutter!! put her back in the loony bin and dont let her out.
18:22 August 31, 2009 by thechamp
Wow, seems you all have not understood the point of her project! It was to make it apparent as to the conditions of the mental-health industry here in Sweden. A part of health care rarely ever seen. Good for her to bring this to the light. Maybe, just maybe, there might be a problem with how mental-health patients are treated.
19:59 August 31, 2009 by Moshe
thechamp stated:

"Wow, seems you all have not understood the point of her project!"

Her point was to cause a disruption and she did? She was like the boy who yelled wolf, too many times. The wolf got the boy and had she suceeded at her sucide attempt, everyone would have been upset because society failed to respond to her cry of sucide.

If the police stopped herfrom her suicide attempt, then the system worked.
20:58 August 31, 2009 by misssh
There is alway´s one idiot comment!

Great input Scornful_Luigi some things are just best kept to one´s self
21:15 August 31, 2009 by johnnostockholm
Most websites are reporting that she was fined 50 x 50 kronor, so 2,500, not 25,000. That is a big difference. I saw one report that said the court case cost about 100,000, and the hospital did not win its case for damages. But it did set a precedent.

The debate she seems to have provoked is more about what is permissible in the name of art and self-promotion, and not so much about the treatment of mental health patients. Was her point meant to be that psychiatric care locks people up and forgets about them? That people are not released as soon as they can be? That the carers don't listen to what the patients tell them? I think she managed to disprove all those things, while tying up valuable resources that could have been used to help someone who really needed them.
23:29 August 31, 2009 by Scornful_Luigi

Thanks to my comment, the article was updated and corrected.

So, what do you mean by your drunk comment? Are you an ignorant who can't spell too? Good night.
23:30 August 31, 2009 by Clever-Dick
When I see her eyes, I believe she did not fake the psychois...
23:37 August 31, 2009 by anduthinh
Well the state drew a line for future art students to stay behind...
03:44 September 1, 2009 by brøklyn_bjorn
Such a beautiful publicity photo.
06:35 September 1, 2009 by travels
In the two pictures I've seen of her she looks like a deer in the headlights and a little looney...and judging by her actions those decriptions fit right in.
08:34 September 1, 2009 by misssh

just as I suspected.... now I am ignorant and cant spell why don't you go and jump back under that rock you came from loser
14:10 September 1, 2009 by grantike
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).

whats the point can anyone explain this
15:12 September 1, 2009 by DidiE
Her point is that , through her performance art, she wanted to raise awareness of involuntary hospitalisations of people suffering from acute psychotic conditions. She felt that if she could successfully 'imitate' a psychotic condition, it would prove that authorities lack the awareness to adequately judge and treat real mental illness, thereby showing that hospitalisation of acutely psychotic people is a waste of resources.
17:52 September 1, 2009 by insect

Misssh is right. If you are going to come down on people about their spelling, you should be damn good at it yourself.

Then how come you can't even spell the word SHOULDN'T?
21:59 September 1, 2009 by Coalbanks
Hmmm? Maybe it was a psychotic episode after all?
01:01 September 2, 2009 by delusion1982
Well... who's not psychotic a bit here or there in Sweden after all! This is the new fashion in the "pro-individualism" societies. The big pressure on new generations in a "almost non-developing country" to be creative and individualistic puts the options tights for students... well specially of Art. Isn't at the end Art the psychic form of life (sometimes positive and others negative).

I still can't really judge if the girl is guilty or not... taken the context, she is considering herself a policeman on duty to reveal the truth in an artistic scenario, maybe with an over dose of "purpose justifies the means".
00:25 September 3, 2009 by henry.bn
Surely the court case and punishment are all part of the "art work"?
21:51 September 5, 2009 by Rat bat
I would like to have a go at some performance art. I would like to put the art student in a "Black Maria" and then drive her to the prison.
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