Carima Neusser



Transversal Madness is a performance that takes its inspiration from a painting by Swedish 19th century painter Carl Fredrik Hill and investigates different forms of insanity and how historical, social and political ideas inform our understanding of the phenomenon. It invites the audience to take in music, film and choreography in unusual configurations. The relatively slow tempo of the piece allows the spectator to reflect on how madness can be re-considered to challenge his/her conception of the world. Hill’s painting also forces the visitor to re-evaluate how we see desire, especially when insanity removes the social inhibitions that often are associated with our desires. The artists find in the investigation useful tools to understand the current social and political climate – especially asking if pathological desire to control the world and the people in it, constitutes another form of socially acceptable madness.

Concept: Carima Neusser, Per Hüttner Choreography and performance: Carima Neusser Live Soundscape: Per Hüttner. Funded by: The Swedish Arts Council and Helge Ax:son Johnsons stiftelse.

Perfomances:                                                                                                                                                                      Satyrianas festival in Sao Paulo November 16, 2019.
F4 Libre, Cuarnevaca, Mexico, January 24 and 25, 2020
El Dia D, Mexico City, January 31 and February 1, 2020

“The painting that has inspired us depicts women whose bodies fade into invisibility. The women represent the bourgeois and the socially acceptable. However, their hands reveal another person, as if they belong to another world. Beneath the women’s façade of respectability, we see other beings whose desires and intentions are running wild. To Hill, the sane are afflicted by another form of socially acceptable madness.


Hill paints beings who are prisoners of a will to control everything: their bodies and the world that surrounds them. Those who are considered to be sane, are over-investing in order, rationality and efficiency and punishes anyone who stray from the norm. The sane are hollow, their spirits dead. They are cut off from their own desires and what they really desire is revealed through their hands. But are the spiritually dead aware of the state they are in? Are the hollow men aware of their hollowness?

In many of Hill’s paintings human desires are revealed as powerful forces. The artworks are like mirrors that allow us to look into our own souls afresh and see the creative potential of our desires and what society has repressed. Can these images support us in distinguishing our own desires from the ones that others try to impose on us? What would happen to us and the fabric of society if we stop fearing madness as well as our own desires?”