A fantastic autobiography of Adolf Wolfli, who spent 35 years in a mental hospital
Categories: CultureBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/a-fantastic-autobiography-of-adolf-wolfli-who-spent-35-years-in-a-mental-hospital
The drawings of the Swiss Adolf Wolfli that 35 years of his life spent in a psychiatric clinic in Bern, was very popular among representatives of surrealism. Today we tell the sad story of Adolf Wolfli that happened a long time ago, but that is why it is worth listening to, otherwise it will be forgotten altogether.
1. Adolf Wolfli was born in the small Swiss town in the family of a stonemason and a laundress, and was the seventh child of his parents. Childhood Adolf has worked diligently, trying to help the family, was a shepherd, a lumberjack, a laborer... At the age of ten the boy was taken to an orphanage, where he learned heavy the orphan's share.
2. Being a nineteen year old young man, Adolf fell in love with a girl and Woo her, but the bride's family refused. Beside himself with grief, the young man enlisted in the army, where he served some time, but the weight of the transferred failure affected the whole future life of Adolf Wolfli. In all he met girls he got to know his former sweetheart. Adolf was 25 years old when he was put in jail for harassment.
3. After leaving prison, Welfle spent about four years at liberty, and then the same as before the act, he was recognized as insane and sent to a psychiatric hospital, where he stayed 35 years until his death.
4. During the first ten years of stay in a psychiatric hospital Adolf was aggressive because of the hallucinations, so he was kept separate from other patients.
5. Several years passed, and Adolf unexpectedly began to draw on scraps of paper. Eventually, he got the opportunity to be creative in more appropriate conditions, he even provided a private room.
6. Adolf Wolfli began to write his autobiography more than 25 000 pages, containing 3000 illustrations. By the end of the life of the author, the text consisted of 45 volumes, and the contents included drawings, poems, texts, notes.
7. Put on top of each other volume of autobiography Welfle formed a column of two and a half meters tall, each volume was carefully twisted by the author.
8. Welfle invented his life, which, in essence, was deprived, because it was held in state-owned houses: shelters, prison, psychiatric hospital.
9. Multi-volume autobiography Adolf Wolfli was fantastic, he described and drew the city and the country in which never was, and even though they never existed.
10. The book begins with a description of the difficult geographical expedition Doofy (the children's nickname for Adolf) and gradually unfolded in the story of an apocalyptic cosmic war.
11. Drawings of Adolf Woelfli in a strange way similar to Tibetan mandalas and sacred images of the Indians, the ritual patterns of the aborigines of Australia, and tattoo magic of the African peoples. The author seemed transferred to those places and times where his mental condition may not be considered to be pathologically changed.
12. Adolf Wolfli — a bright representative of art Brut (FR. art brut — the art of rough/unprocessed), which created "because of" mental illness, and his works are highly spontaneous in nature.
13. Adolf Wolfli no place anywhere except in the crazy house: the isolation, painful sense of inadequacy and irrelevance to modern society was aggravated by his mental disorder.
14. As if Adolf wrote an alternative history of the universe. He saw the sky just the moon, and inscribed in it the circle of Buddhist mandalas, talking about the relationship between man and Cosmos.
15. A few days before his death, Adolf was very sorry that will not have time to finish the finale of his Grand autobiography. According to the plan of Adolf Wolfli, it was to include another 3,000 songs.
16. One of the founders and chief theoretician of the surrealist andré Breton collected the works of Adolf Wolfli and admired the fact that, not being familiar with the basic principles of this direction, Welfle reproduced in his works are close to surrealist automatic writing spontaneity.
17. Unique and colossal work Welfle first showed in Europe and the United States in 1972, and in 1975 his works were given by the administration of the psychiatric clinic of the Museum of fine arts in Bern.
The material was prepared with the support of the center of promotion and development of creativity of people with mental disorders, Daria Evseeva.