'A multidimensional masterpiece...this work gives physicality to the lamentations of trauma. It is the jewel of the TRAUMA exhibition'

Andrea Bandelli | CEO Science Gallery International


'Stunning...the rawness of a haunting condition is rendered as choreography. The most intimate piece in the exhibition...hypnotizing and dreamful'

Science (magazine)


'Hysteria—as a disease, and later, a set of symptoms—was characterised by unusual physical behaviours believed to be brought on by trauma or a disorder of the nervous system.
Psychoanalysis had its origins in the study of hysteria: Freud was able to explain that the physical manifestations of hysteria were not a result of nerves or disorders in the physical body. Instead, symptoms were brought on by mental trauma. Freud was among the first to assert that hysteria happens in the mind.' —From the Wellcome Collection.



Hysteria is a dance/performance video work which responds to ideas around the invisibility of pain and the visible manifestations of trauma.
Created by Maurice Kelliher and performed by dancer Daniel Whiley (Punchdrunk, Sweetshop Revolution)—Hysteria integrates archive footage of patients from Netley Hospital (1917) who present with symptoms of "combat hysteria" or "war neurosis"—or more commonly, "Shell shock".

Hysteria was originally commissioned by Science Gallery Dublin for the TRAUMA exhibition (Nov. 2015 - Feb. 2016), where it was installed for three months, specially screened from inside the gallery —but positioned to be viewable from the street—on a loop all night and every night for three months. The viewer on the street was invited to stream the audio directly to their mobile device, for a public/private experience of the installation. 

In August 2016 Hysteria was part of the Official Selection for São Carlos Videodance Festival; and in September 2016 it was programmed by invitation for the PROBE festival (Trinity College Dublin)—where it was specially screened outdoors; projected onto the stunning 1935 Reading Room.

From August-October 2017 Hysteria will be installed at Centro Universitário Maria Antonia—a multidisciplinary contemporary arts space in central São Paulo, housed in historic buildings at USP, Brazil.


Director / choreographer / editor | Maurice Kelliher
Performer | Daniel Whiley
Camera | Tadhg Conway

'Netley Hospital, 1917' footage courtesy of Wellcome Library