Art therapy is the successor of “psychological Modernism”, which during the late 19th and early 20th centuries included medical psychology as well as theories and practices related to more speculative practices of hypnosis, somnambulism, interpretation of dreams, automatic writing and spiritualism. Art therapy emerged in the second half of the 20th century as a new psychological genre and, the author argues, a new kind of art that offered the opportunity for psychological “salvation” in a “psychological society”. This article explores an experimental project called “Ectoplastic Art Therapy” begun in 2002 by the author as a form of therapy and as a form of contemporary art. This therapy has been performed in various institutional settings, such as therapeutic centers, museums and galleries, as well as educational seminars and courses. Focusing on the usual marginalization that accompanies conventional art therapy within the established framework of the contemporary art system, this article examines the situations in which an art therapist could present his practice as a contemporary artist. The author prompts questions concerning the possible kinds of self-presentation that can be found in art therapy as a form of contemporary art.
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