Egodocuments of Madness
Blalla W. Hallmann and Artists of the Prinzhorn Collection

The Prinzhorn Collection shows in a representative selection of the collection Hartmut Kraft (Cologne)the autobiographical life retrospective Blalla – Curriculum vitae Wolfgang Ewald Hallmann (1995), which the artist Blalla W. Hallmann (1941–1997) published near the end of his life as a series of linoleum cuts. With his pictures and commentary, Blalla sums up the stations of his personal and artistic life. With a shocking
frankness, he opens the album of his life and provides us insights into childhood and youth experiences,
reporting of the outbreak of his psychosis and his suicide attempts. It tells of all his crises and existential difficulties, of his artistic successes, of friendships, love and sex affairs. His description is ironic, terse, and
surprisingly undramatic. All the same, death is constantly present. It surfaces repeatedly as a motif in
his paintings, which are shown in a small selection.

Blalla’s story is complemented by egodocuments from the Prinzhorn Collection: self-written or illustrated
biographies, self-portraits, personal visualstories, drawn childhood memories, traumatic life sketches, a book with life and asylum stories, diaries, a dream dictate, and a will. Whether a “Debut:
Memoires of one banned in his youth!,” “Youthful ocean of remembrances,” or a “family drama and the
sad consequences”: all these works describe “uniquely and unforgettably” the subjective, selfassuring
glance of historical asylum inmates for their self and their fate. They are attempts at autobiographical
ordering, taking back a self out of control.