Delusional Expressionism

Delusional disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis denoting a psychotic mental disorder that is characterized by holding one or more non-bizzare delusions in the absence of any other significant psychopathology. Non bizarre delusions are fixed beliefs that are certainly and definitely false, but that could possibly be plausible, for example, someone who thinks he or she is under police surveillance. In order for the diagnosis to be made auditory and visual hallucinations cannot be prominent. Although olfactory or tactile hallucinations related to the content may be present.

To be diagnosed with delusional disorder the delusions cannot be due to the effects of a drug, medication, or general medical condition, and delusional disorder cannot be diagnosed in an individual diagnosed with schizophrenia. A person with delusional disorder may be high functioning in daily life and may not exhibit off or bizarre behavior aside from these delusions.

-American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, (4th ed., text revision). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

‘Expressionism’ was a cultural movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the start of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world under an utterly subjective perspective, violently distorting it to obtain an emotional effect and vividly transmit personal mood and ideas. Expressionist artists sought to express the meaning of “being alive” and emotional experience rather than physical reality.

Expressionism is exhibited in many art forms, including painting, literature, theatre, dance, film architecture and music. The term often implies emotional angst. In a general sense, painters such as Matthias Grunewald and El Greco can be called expressionist, though in practice, the term is applied mainly to 20th century works. The expressionist stress on the individual perspective was also a reaction to positivism and other artistic movements such as naturalism and impressionism.


My first colony concept is based around aspects of expressionism and delusional disorder. I find the mental abnormality has common links to this cultural movement. For the creation of this tribe, I will assume that ideals of expressionism (abstraction used to convey strong emotion) has in fact lead to illusions amongst inhabitants (or vice versa.) As German expressionism peaked in the 1920s, I will attempt to adapt fashions of this period into my design. In the character below, he is seen wearing suit trousers. Unfortunately, in my brief research, it seems the common suit is one of the only choices available to men of the 1920s. Thus I have incorporated unrelated armour into the design. He wears a veil over the majority of his face to emphasize his infatuation with whatever illusions he is in his mind. A ‘dream catcher’ is attached to his back enforcing the characters belief that he is indeed in touch with abstract spirits. Here is the starting point for a more specific direction with my project.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: