Dylan Scholinski has spent his days as an adult coming to terms with the wrong turns in his life, which he began as a girl named Daphne. Dylan -- Daphne -- was committed to a mental hospital at the age of fifteen and underwent a kind of sanctioned reconditioning: learning to be a girl, when inside, he knew that wasn't what he was meant to be.
Obviously, that didn't work, and as a transgendered adult and artist, Scholinski turned his experience around to help youth facing identity crises without positive reinforcement from their parents and doctors. He also considers himself an expert on the effects of institutionalization -- not someone who can offer more "therapy" to kids in trouble, but someone who can look into a troubled teen's eyes and say, "I've been here."
Scholinski long dreamed of making an art piece that captured all of that -- his experience and what it feels like -- and, now, as a resident artist at RedLine, he's getting his chance. As part of RedLine's new group exhibition, Not Exactly: Between Home and Where I Find Myself, which addresses the psychology and social marginalization of homelessness, Scholinski plans to live for 72-hour periods in a holding room inside the gallery, under constant video surveillance. And at the end of each period, he'll upload the video to share on YouTube.
He'll also be exploring the side effects of his performance/installation, 72-Hour Hold, including the theme of being "certifiable." As part of that exploration, he invites mental-health professionals to come learn from him. "I'm excited about turning the tables," Scholinski says. "Clients look to doctors and therapists for whatever is unattainable to them. In this case, instead of me just being the one who is certifiably crazy, I will have appointment times for therapists or teachers or students to come take advantage of my expertise as a client, in order to become better providers.
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"They'll be able to come in and have a fifty-minute session, and I'll charge them on a sliding scale. It's important to send a message out to the client that we all have value, we have experience, and no one else holds the golden key that will help them process their own identities."
Visitors will also have opportunities to dine with Scholinski (it's bring-your-own-chow), and perhaps get a hug from the artist. "I've learned that it's important to give people avenues toward closure," he says. "So if people feel moved to the point that they need a hug, they can come into the room, and I'll give a hug."
Love, after all, and finding peace within one's own skin are the ultimate lessons of 72-Hour Hold. "I'm excited to see what it will bring," Scholinski notes. "I hope to get people to open up and share their own stories. People might end up coming in and sharing, and I love being that witness."
10 a.m. Friday, May 31, through 10 a.m. Monday, June 3.
7 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, through 7 p.m. Friday, June 21.
7 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, through 7 p.m. Friday, July 12.
2 p.m. Thursday, July 25, through 2 p.m. Sunday, July 28.
Official visiting hours: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.
Shared lunch or dinner with Dylan at 11:30 a.m. or 4:30 p.m. during holding periods (bring your own meal).
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Visit Dylan Scholinski's website for more information.