More than 24 years have passed since Félix and Josephine Guttari travelled to the Leros and Daphne psychiatric hospitals on the island of Leros and Athens, respectively. One can only imagine the horrors that they witnessed there first hand, many of which Félix exposed to the world in a televised interview approximately one year later. At that time in Greece, the practice of psychiatry and incarceration were virtually indistinguishable: patients chained to their beds or walls for days on end and far, far worse: punishment and isolation practice as the basis of "social reality."
In the wake of the uproar following Felix's interview, numerous reforms were put into place by the Greek government in order to correct the institutional aberrations on the "isle of the damned" but in the following years the reform process slowly ground to a halt, and began once again to regress. And today? In the midst of the current debt crisis the health ministry purportedly is funding less that half of that necessary to keep the institutes running.
If financial and libidinal economy are indeed one and the same economy, we confront an economy offering a metaphysics of insurmountable lack. Félix called for psychological practice based on a creativity akin to that of the artist. If we apply the concept of agencement to the Leros clinic today, in 2012, what "site" will we discover? Which intersections of discursive formation and material practice? The "confined schizo battered down with drugs and social repression?"
The following images photographed by Josephine have been republished in Lignes' recent "Guattarì de Leros à la Borde" and serve as a striking testament to the vision and compassion of Félix Guattari.