the vacuum cleaner [UK]



22.02 – 24.02.2018

The Metropolitan Police calls him a Domestic Extremist. The National Health Service has labelled him ‘highly disturbed’ and labelled him with Borderline Personality Disorder. ‘A real and present threat to the safe running of our lawful business’ is how E.ON described him at the Royal Courts of Justice.

He prefers the term Mental.

After spending 14 years as an outlaw and in-patient, artist and activist the vacuum cleaner shares an autobiographical performance told through his psychiatric records, police intelligence files and corporate injunctions collected through the UK’s Data Protection Act.

• The British artist and activist ­ the vacuum cleaner ­makes large scale interventions, 'one man shows', installations and films that subtly and provocatively address taboo issues. Over the past few years he has created productions for Tate Modern, Wellcome Collection, Nottingham Contemporary, BBC4, Channel 4 and Arte, among others. His work has been presented at numerous European festivals and theatres.

‘Raw, open, powerful… entirely devoid of a sense of self-preservation’ – The Guardian

 ‘This essential show is a fascinating, stigma-smashing experience’ – The Scotsman

‘One of the most powerful portraits of creativity and depression I’ve ever seen… a heart-rending journey.’ – RealTime Arts

 ‘Leaves you lost for words’ – The Herald

created and performed by the vacuum cleaner | additional direction Kim Noble | produced by Hannah Hull, Amy Hicks | designed by Sophie Nathan | originally developed with Tania El Khoury | support Arts Council England, Artsadmin, In Between Time

programmaboekje - programme de salle - evening programme

There's more

Erik Thys, the vacuum cleaner, Hannah Hull & Inne Goris

On Creativity, Psychiatric Vulnerability, and Madlove


On Creativity, Psychiatric Vulnerability, and Madlove
On Creativity, Psychiatric Vulnerability, and Madlove
Fri 23.02.18

Is there a connection between creative sensibility and psychiatric vulnerability? Are fruitful minds also fragile minds? Psychiatrist Erik Thys gives a keynote lecture, after which he will debate with the vacuum cleaner and Hannah Hull (MadLove) and Inne Goris (Huis).

the vacuum cleaner



Atelier Kaos
Tue 20.02.18

The vacuum cleaner is joining forces with artist Hannah Hull, and together they are inviting you to a workshop about mental health and the psychiatric institution of the future. How can we better understand the power relationships between patients and staff?