New York

Bolek Greczynski and the People of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center, “Battlefields”

The Living Museum, Creedmoor Psychiatric Center

Traveling to the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center can seem like going to the end of the earth. It is at the final stop on one of the subway lines in the borough of Queens, and it represents a long and last stop for many of its patients who cannot expect recovery or anticipate any remarkable improvement. However, Creedmoor is not an obscure outpost but a unique and complex subculture within our collective culture. It is a community whose similarities to life on the outside are conspicuous.

In 1984 Bolek Greczynski made a proposal to Creedmoor officials. He requested some space in this enormous institution to set up an active art workshop and a permanent exhibition space for an ongoing installation produced by the patients there. Greczynski knew that Creedmoor had ample space available because its patient population has declined by 400 percent in the past 15 years, due to changing attitudes and

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