Outsider Art and Psychoanalytic Psychiatry is a study of psychiatric institutes and psychiatric violence as seen through art created by the inhabitants of a psychiatric hospital.

Cosimo Schinaia explores the history of the Cogoleto Psychiatric Hospital, now abandoned, and how its architecture and ideology influenced treatment of the patients who lived there. At the book’s core is an in-depth historical, anthropological, and psychoanalytical study of the “Nativity of Fools,” a large art installation constructed from 1980 to 1984 by patients, nurses, and psychiatrists, representing their everyday lives in the asylum. Schinaia’s understanding of the scenes considers questions of nostalgia, isolation, privacy, and freedom and reflects on the risks of institutionalised segregation. The book proposes original psychoanalytic reflections on the subject of the obsolescence of psychiatric hospitals and treating mental suffering without institutionalising people.

This book will be of great interest to psychoanalysts in practice and in training, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and nurses as well as readers interested in outsider art, Arte Povera, and the history of psychiatric institutions and contemporary psychiatry.