Collateral Damage was born out of Victoria Maidhof’s studio practice, and is named after her current series of degraded polaroid film pieces. Maidhof has suffered from mental illness most of her life, witnessing first-hand how pervasive the stigma associated with it is in our culture. She now seizes any opportunity to speak out about her diagnosis and struggles to educate the uninformed. Last year Maidhof was surprised to find that people who had never suffered from mental health issues were experiencing the symptoms that she and other mentally ill people experience every day. She watched in amazement as depression and anxiety spurred by the pandemic became an open dialogue, both on social media and in the news. The pandemic has broken down barriers that in the past made acknowledging a problem taboo. At this critical juncture, when we have all experienced some level of isolation and the inability to control our own worlds, Collateral Damage seeks to harness the momentum to continue the conversation, with the aim of destigmatizing mental illness. We intend to bolster artists’ careers by removing the financial barrier of submission fees and supplying them with an exhibition opportunity and a stipend. It is well known that accumulating an artist CV is a main component of the battle in establishing an artistic career and creative network. This exhibition aims to destigmatize mental illness through open discussion and genuine representation.

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Collateral Damage 1, Victoria Maidhof, 2020                                                                                        Collateral Damage 2, Victoria Maidhof, 2020

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