There is a ghost town within the city of Naples. Almost thirty years after its official 1983 closure, the Leonardo Bianchi Psychiatric Hospital remains perched with its immense mass right in the hearth of the city. 220.000 square meters of corridors and rooms that from 1897 to 2000, when the last patient was dismissed, have been the perimeter of the largest mental hospital in the South of Italy. Today the Hospital, totally unused, stands as a huge repository of remembrances, closed to the public and unknown to the inhabitants of the city.
To reinterpret the ambiance, we asked a theatre group composed of psychiatric patients to improvise on the grounds of August Strindberg’s The dream. They created new interactions with the place: desires and memories were melted, coercion surrendered to freedom, the mental illness and the collapse of the surrounding space reflected each other.