artist + organizer

(Living) Room

 (Living) Room

Brianna Harlan x Tammy Richardson collaboration
Installation: Video, photography, built environment, interactive

Suicide carries a stigma that keeps it even further behind closed doors. We intend to open the doors and immerse the participant in a homey environment that will allow people to engage with the topic of suicide as it relates to mental health. This collaborative installation will look like it could be anyone’s living room space. The idea is to invite the participant to connect the aspects of the installation to their own lives, either by relating to it personally, or relating it to friends or family.

Often, even if planned, the urge to self harm or carry out a suicide attempt is spur of the moment. It happens often on an impulse, because of triggering or the breaking point of exhaustion. Video, played on an old television, will consist of intimate, anonymous interviews with people about mental illness, recovery, and mental health.

Living Room will include familiar household objects to give visitors a moment to slow down and do a grounding exercise. This is both to activate and encourage a coping skill for the intense material of this exhibition and to honor those who, for whatever reason, did not have that moment and space to breathe.

Photos in Living Room portray the building emptiness or someone missing. This could be the loneliness of someone who, in their private moments, feels the weight of what they’re carrying or it could be the missing presence of someone who successfully took their own life.

While opening up the conversation about suicide seems daunting, creating a safe space for people to explore their feelings in a positive, constructive way is a great place to start.

Resources for suicide prevention will be included on the installation handout along with the grounding exercise.