my old time - the history of psychiatry in the drawings of Robert Burda
3rd of July - 25th september 2022
With meticulous fascination for details, Robert Burda records his life story. Born in 1942, he spent his childhood and youth in Bremen-Blumenthal/Germany, where he was particularly interested in streetcars, buses and ships. Robert Burda draws his motifs with technical precision, and provides them with descriptions that allow an insight into his inner world. Even at a young age, he had repeated stays in mental institutions, where he documented his surroundings and his work in drawings. He drew the dormitories and dining rooms from a bird's-eye view in order to locate not only himself but also other people. Since 1968, Robert Burda has been living in the residential area of the Alexians in Münster, and has also captured his world on paper here. If you look at his pictures from a historical perspective, you can see in them documented the gradual reform of psychiatry. The inhumane conditions in mental institutions after the end of the war and the slow improvements are often told from the perspective of the reformers.
But what have these ultimately changed in the lives of those affected?
In the pictures in which Robert Burda tells of his life, an answer to this question can be discovered. His pictures tell of large bed halls during the post-war period, which he still experienced himself, and of the loving relationship with his mother, who has stood by him despite the stigma attached to mental disabilities. However, one can also see in his pictures the first improvements in living conditions and the gradual social recognition of mentally ill and mentally disabled people. By giving us an insight into his life, Robert Burda takes us into the history of a social reform.
A catalog ot Robert Burda´s works can be prchased for 5€.