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Homestead of Dilution

Onomatopee 140

An exhibition, book presentation and public discussion with and by Domenico Mangano & Marieke van Rooy

Who do we allow to live among us and how do we exclude? With variable intensity the question whether psychiatric patients and people with intellectual disabilities can, may or should live among ‘normal’ people has been a subject of debate since the beginning of the twentieth century. The project Homestead of Dilution looks at the Nieuw Dennendal experiment (1969-1974) where psychologist Carel Muller and architect Frans van Klingeren devised an alternative model for ‘deranged’ and ‘healthy’ people to live and play together on the secure property of a psychiatric institution. Nieuw Dennendal, widely considered to be the most ground-breaking experiment in Dutch post-war health care, has become relevant again as more and more mentally distressed people appear in the streets.

The experiment has a special relationship with Eindhoven. After a number of scandals, the government ordered the evacuation of Nieuw Dennendal in 1974. The staff was discharged and the patients were ‘deported’ to the psychiatric institution De Grote Beek in Eindhoven. The action divided public attention in The Netherlands. The present relevance of Nieuw Dennendal is demonstrated by the film Homestead of Dilution by Domenico Mangano and Marieke van Rooy. A symbolic piece of the façade of one of the pavilions where the experiment was conducted is displayed in the middle of Onomatopee’s exhibition space. Furthermore, attached n the Onomatopee "shopwindow" are the Dilution adhesives (2017), initially made to be included in the publication.



Onomatopee 140, Marieke van Rooy, 2017

Homestead of Dilution

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The concept of ’dilution’ – bringing together healthy and mentally ill people to overcome the formation of a polarised and hierarchical society – was developed during the Nieuw Dennendal experiment at a Dutch mental healthcare institute in the 1970s.

With this book we broaden the scope of what dilution could mean today, viewed through various historical, artistic, sociological and philosophical lenses. Could the historical concept of dilution be deployed as a contemporary artistic principle and be rediscovered as a means to achieve peaceful cohabitation? Does it have the potential to bridge and unify radical forms of otherness as part of an artistic process or perhaps life in general?


This publication comes out of the artistic research for the video work Homestead of Dilution, and is the result of an artist-in residency by Domenico Mangano & Marieke van Rooy at Het Vijfde Seizoen (located on the grounds of the mental health institute Altrecht in Den Dolder, The Netherlands), from January to May 2015.

The project The Dilution Adhesives (2017), was made specially for this publication. Each copy contains a selection of stickers with images and illustrations from the Nieuw Dennendal archive, which is part of the collection of the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam.

The publication is part of the Dilution Project, which is developed by Domenico Mangano & Marieke van Rooy in collaboration with Kunsthuis SybHet Vijfde Seizoen, Instituto Buena Bista, Onomatopee and the Mondriaan Fund. The publication was presented for the first time at the exhibition Homestead of Dilution at the Nomas Foundation in Rome, from 3 May – 1 August 2017, curated by Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, and presented at the exhibition space of Onomatopee in Eindhoven, July 2017.


Editors: Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, Domenico Mangano & Marieke van Rooy
Authors / contributors: Esther Vossen, John Foot, Ilaria Gianni, Aaron Schuster
Copy editors: Billy Nolan, Leila Rejali
Translators: Billy Nolan, Oliver Dorostkar
Graphic designer: Bardhi Haliti
Cover images: Nieuw Dennendal Archive, Collection IIISG, Amsterdam

This publication was made possible with support from Het Vijfde Seizoen / Altrecht GGZ, the Mondriaan Fund, Magazzino, Nomas Foundation


206 x 133 mm / 8.1 x 5.2 inches portrait
Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk, Domenico Mangano & Marieke van Rooy
Bardhi Haliti
sewn and glued
240 grams Consellation Snow E07 Martellata (cover) and 100 grams Munken Kristall Rough (inside)
28 full page images in full color
Art Libro - Drukkerij Roelofs, Enschede (NL)
Billy Nolan, Oliver Dorostkar, Leila Rejali
Marieke van Rooy
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