The Artist is Patient: Collaborative Biomedical Art and Curatorial Care


Session Title:

  • Art, Wellbeing and Society

Presentation Title:

  • The Artist is Patient: Collaborative Biomedical Art and Curatorial Care



  • (Short paper)

    Keywords: Biomedicine, Curation, Artist, Patient, Care, Clinic, Laboratory, Museum, Collaboration

    How can curatorial practice bring into contemporary art programming/contexts and to visiting publics, the profound collaborations between artists and scientists in the creation of biomedical art? This paper outlines a curatorial proposal that investigates the practice of three artists working at intersections of the Museum, the Laboratory and the Clinic, they are: John A Douglas, Helen Pynor and Guy Ben-Ary. This research addresses the atmosphere of openness between individuals and institutions across art and medicine, and the increasing porosity of institutions that allow artistic biomedical collaboration to take place. As a curatorial project, it questions the hidden nature of experiences surrounding disease, disability and bodily transformation and experimentation within our culture, and attempts to shift paradigms around corporeal representation, exhibition design and public knowledge. Central to the research is theory on the body, including feminist theory; a review of literature engaging with the connections between art and medicine, particularly bio-art; and recent discourse around curating and collaborating. The program aims to interpret and transform artistic and scientific reciprocity in clinical, laboratory and museum contexts, where curatorial presence is essential and involved through all stages of collaborative research & development and presentation.

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