Take care: art and medicine

Bradley, Rachal (2022) Take care: art and medicine. [Show/Exhibition]


The exhibition with over 300 works reveals how the apparently contrasting disciplines of art and medicine reflect physical humanity and the human psyche.Health is a timeless human preoccupation. Concern with physical well-being in art is as old as art itself. The sensitive body is at once a working tool and object of observation. Taking their cue from works in the Kunsthaus collection, six chapters examine the productive interplay of sickness and pain, medicine, care and healing through 300 exhibits, over 250 of which are being made available by more than 40 national and international lenders. Early examples date back to the 15th century, while the most recent are works from 2022 produced specially for the exhibition.

A large spectrum of media, from drawing, painting and sculpture to video, spatial installation and performance, is on display in this asynchronous and associative sequence. The main focus of the artworks is on physical infirmities. The themes covered include the ‘golden age’ of medicine, ‘plagues and pandemics’, ‘prophylaxis, complementary medicine and self-healing’, ‘the diagnostic gaze and the hospital system’, ‘pharmaceutics and cutting-edge research’, and finally ‘patients at the crossroads of the normed and singular body’. Familiar names from the past meet young artists in their twenties who address the broad spectrum and fascinating evolution of the discourse surrounding the sick body.

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