- When 3 Jun - 6 Aug 2016
CNR OXFORD ST & GREENS RD PADDINGTON NSW 2021
TUES TO SAT, 10AM-5PM
+61 2 8936 0888
'The Patient' examines the embodied experience of the artist as medical patient and the medical patient as living subject in contemporary art.
The word patient has a dual meaning. It describes a state of being – of bearing a situation quietly, without complaint. It also describes a person in a hospital or clinical context, who is ill and undergoing diagnosis or treatment. The word originates from the Latin patiens, which means “suffering, enduring”. And for the medical patient, it is a common enough experience to wait, with pain.
The exhibition explores the ways in which artists engage with powerful human experiences in the fields of health, biological science and medicine, contributing to discourse on the representation of illness, disease, care, individual agency and what it is to be human.
The collection of works, new experiments and ongoing projects featured in 'The Patient' are all variously difficult, fearless, funny and sometimes unlovely. They range across media and connect to us as viewers and occasionally as participants.
The artists in this exhibition are drawn from Australia and the world, past and present. Their work deepens our own enquiries into the actual stuff of illness and disease, death and life – how they manifest viscerally and psychologically, as well as socially and politically.
Through its exhibition programs, UNSW Galleries fosters and advances research and discourse around the pressing issues of our times. Exhibition projects that draw on knowledge and research from a range of disciplines – such as art, medicine and science – have the capacity to impart and investigate new approaches to understanding the fluid and rapidly evolving 21st century society in which we live.
Ingrid Bachmann (Canada)
John A Douglas (Australia)
Brenton Heath-Kerr (Aus)
Carol Jerrems (Aus)
Eugenie Lee (Korea/Aus)
David McDiarmid (Aus)
Helen Pynor (Aus/UK)
Jo Spence (UK)
John Wynne (UK)
Tim Wainwright (Aus/UK)
Bob Flanagan & Sheree Rose (US)
Guy Ben-Ary (US/Aus) with Nathan Thompson, Andrew Fitch, Douglas Bakkum, Stuart Hodgetts, Mike Edel.
5pm Thursday 2 June, UNSW Galleries
AUSLAN and live audio description is provided on this pre-opening tour with the curator and exhibition artists.\
8pm Friday 10 – Sunday 12 June, Cellblock Theatre, National Art School
The Sydney premiere of cellF by Guy Ben-Ary, Nathan Thompson, Andrew Fitch, Darren Moore, Douglas Bakkum, Stuart Hodgetts and Mike Edel. cellF live performances by musicians, Chris Abrahams (Friday), Ensemble Offspring (Saturday), Jon Rose, Darren Moore and Clayton Thomas (Sunday).
Artist Guy Ben-Ary is on a quest to become a virtuosic musician, and play with some of Australia’s most celebrated contemporary and experimental musicians and composers.
He has used cutting edge bio-technologies to transform his own skin cells into a functional neural network, his ‘external brain’, and has embodied it with a sound-producing body made of analogue modular synthesisers. This autonomous cybernetic musician is capable of sensing and responding to stimulations provided by human musicians. It is a not-entirely-human performative artwork challenging our perceptions about life and the materiality of the human body.
The artist’s extended biology is the material, subject and co-author of this work. The living ‘brain’ of cellF has a lively materiality that compels us to consider the selective possibilities of the future human body.
After four years of intense research, billions of cultured cells, numerous mashed up protocols, tons of prototypes, frustration, pain and a few happy accidents Guy’s external brain is ready to perform.
10am Friday 24 June, EG02 Lecture Theatre, UNSW Art & Design
Artists, doctors, historians, scientists and specialists enage in a cross-disciplinary forum discussing key issues running through the exhibition The Patient at UNSW Galleries.
5pm Tuesday 2 August, UNSW Galleries
Performance artist and widow of Bob Flanagan, Sheree Rose, discusses her extraordinary body of work, her collaborative performances, and life after Bob with fellow performance artist and celebrated author, Fiona McGregor.
5pm Thursday 4 August, UNSW Galleries
The launch of The Patient catalogue and the launch of Dr Lindsay Kelly’s new book Bioart Kitchen: Art, Feminism and Technoscience (I. B. Tauris, 2016) with drinks, ‘food’ and an Ending performed by Sheree Rose, Fiona McGregor and Victoria Spence.
Conceived and developed by students in UNSW Art & Design’s Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership, The Public Patient is a participatory program that provokes new ways of thinking about our relationship to sickness and health. Building on themes from The Patient, the program asks how art can offer insights into our experience of the medical world. What does it mean to be sick or well? How do images of the medicalised body influence our understanding of our own health? And how does our growing love affair with chemical cures turn our medicine cabinet into a cabinet of curiosities?
The Pill Box
The Pill Box is an evolving exhibit exploring our intimate relationship to medication. Put your old medicine containers to good use by contributing to an evolving collaborative display in The Patient.
Are YOU Sick?
A conversation about what it is like to be a patient. The participants are encouraged to draw, write and explore the ways in which you experience illness and treatment through a unique in-gallery iPad app.
See the feed here.
Piecing it Together
1.30-4.30pm Tuesday 7 June and Tuesday 14 June, UNSW Galleries
Dive into the hybrid cut and paste world of collage in Piecing it Together - a collaborative workshop led by artist Deborah Kelly where participants are invited to reconfigure images from The Patient. The workshops coincide with Kelly’s own Postgraduate Masters exhibition in UNSW Galleries Scenes from the Death of Books. Participants are encouraged to bring some of their own sourced imagery/ photographs/ textual material to collage with.
The Screening Room
The Screening Room is a film series that explores the pulpy relationships between science, medicine and the patient. Drawing on themes from 'The Patient', the films probe the progression of medical and scientific ideas in popular culture and cinematic history, and grapple with the experiences of trauma, death, transformation, pain and the body.
Brand Upon the Brain!
6pm Wednesday 8 June, The Courtyard, UNSW Art & Design
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
6pm Wednesday 22 June, The Courtyard, UNSW Art & Design
Cries & Whispers
6pm Wednesday 20 July The Courtyard, UNSW Art & Design
Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan
6pm Wednesday 3 August, Black Box, UNSW Art & Design
Seeing is Believing
10am–5pm, Friday 3 June - Saturday 6 August, UNSW Galleries
Seeing is Believing, by Eugenie Lee is an experimental art and science collaborative project that conveys a type of chronic pain called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Through a one-on-one interaction between the artist and a participant, the interactive performance installation conveys a metaphorical experience of chronic pain by manipulating each participant’s multisensory experience using the latest technologies.
The project is based on neuroscience research showing that pain is integrated with the person’s environment. It can be influenced by many factors, including vision, touch, hearing, expectations and/or previous experiences.
Seeing is Believing is an exercise to demonstrate, contrary to the common belief that pain reflects only the amount of tissue damage, that the brain can still produce perceptions of pain even in the absence of physical injury. It is also an artistic way of externalising an inherently internal experience, so that the audience can experience something of what it is like to have CRPS. Please note that this artwork is designed not to give pain to you, however it may or may not involve various types of discomfort depending on your response.