“Because when you call me crazy, I feel powerful”
Andrea Acevedo Garcia
Alma Angelica Rodriguez Lopez
Madness is a concept that has changed its meaning over the centuries. Since its inception, it has been associated with abnormal, non-conforming mental illness. Around the time of Romanticism, this took a turn when madness became associated with a new idea of the artist as an independent subject and imagination as creative self-determination. Thus, he ceases to name a term to refer to an exercise in escape from reality with which sentimental and creative identity is identified.
With regard to women, we may note that in spite of the twist of independence which the concept of insanity possesses, the term Mad It is being used as a way to silence and control the behavior and lives of those who defy expectations of what it means to be a woman. Artists such as Virginia Woolf, Camille Claudel or Alejandra Pizarnik have been called mad. What they have in common is that they have been brilliant and powerfully expressive women, characterized by intense and unconventional lives, who went through a lot of suffering, psychiatric hospitalizations, and experiences that ended their lives.
These common factors lead us to the stereotypical idea of damned artists who lived condemned lives and this prevents us from seeing their lives in a more complex way, but to look differently depends on the pathological nature of our view of insanity. It is necessary to raise questions. And rethink it as a creative freedom and expression that women artists use to address their pain and give their message to the world, something to do with their suffering.
For example, we can comment on the case of the Irish singer Sinead O’Connor, who was right in denouncing the abuses of the Catholic Church in front of a world that then did not believe her and called her mad. ,fight the real enemy these were his last words after singing Warning Tearing up a picture of Bob Marley and Pope John Paul II on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” in October 1992. But if many refused to accept the harsh reality O’Connor revealed to society, then after he dies in 2023, many of us may remember him as a very brave madman .
Sinead opened up about her diagnosis of dementia and bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and her addictions, the many times she sought help to find the peace she needed. Seeing her crazy life for something more than its pain, it’s worth valuing the hope she’s always represented. Since insanity abounds, let’s remember, it also means freedom and existential rebellion. Sinead didn’t compromise the system and took the time to make her message clear. This is what it is to be mad, that honest voice that won’t shut up, that violence we’ve experienced, that denounces abuses and responds to the injustices of the world. Madness can be resistance, no longer a system-imposed category to disqualify voices that oppose it, but a choice of non-conformity, a cry for a different world.
For women artists who affirm their lives and their madness through art, it is no longer something that only hurts and oppresses them, but something that makes life more just and meaningful. Even his fight for a violence-free society liberates and gives strength. Those who are considered intelligent. Women who inspire us with their brave stupidity.
Alma Angelica Rodriguez Lopez (Almario) is a social psychologist, visual artist and writer. He studied psychology at the Faculty of Psychology at UNAM and started painting in 2019. He currently manages his Almario project in which he brings together his knowledge of psychology and art. Provides psychosocial support to artists and creative people. He creates visual and written work where affection and imagination are the starting point for creation and conversation. Its thematic axis addresses the daily nature of craziness, intensity and emotion, as well as the importance of freedom and creative expression.