Free Tickets now available for the Performative Lecture – The Remake: Medicalised Death in ICU.

Dates – May 10th to 18th, 2019. The artist, Fiona Davies, will undertake a series of performative lectures within the exhibition Cast a Cold Eye on Life on Death: The Remake Medicalised Death in ICU. This is Davies’s examination exhibition, the culmination of four years of practice-led research into medicalised death in ICU. There are a series of installations, object-based works, performances and interactive works. In each performative lecture Davies will lead a small group of viewers through these works, involve them in activites and if they wish encourage them to particiapte in conversations about medicalised death.
Warning: The exhibition and the performative lecture contain images, sounds and activities that deal with death, dying, hospitals, violence, blood and body parts for transplantation.

Click here to choose a date and get your free ticket.

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New Work – Blood on Silk: Total Artificial Heart (TAH)

This is the last of the five wonder cabinet works in this series on blood, blood products and body parts. This final work links two aspects, the movement of blood and blood products within the body and the heart that ensures that circulation. The heart is one of the transplantable body organs. In many of the current prototypes under development for replacement hearts, the mechanism sits outside the body and in appearance reflects medicalised design aesthetics. In this work the beautiful double headed flask used in the chemical laboratory sits outside the zinc box of the work while inside a modified game of snakes and ladders is played as we try to make sense of the progress of disease.

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Work in Progress – Blood on Silk: Total Artificial Heart (TAH).

Second post on the installation: Where They were Last Seen, at SCA gallery Sydney.

To continue from the last post from late this month – this image is of another element of the work Where they were last seen, my installation selected by two Masters of Art Curating students, Tian Kang and Yunyan Tang for their exhibition Being towards Death in Gallery five of the Sydney College of the Arts/ University of Sydney Gallery. The curatorial premise developed by Tian and Yunyang resulted in a more direct focus on the physicality of the Intensive Care Unit.

Blanket Work modifed

The image shows a detail of another of the main elements of the space. This large blanket work frames two walls and is approximately nine metres in width and three metres in height. Made of strips of grey woollen coat fabric, the surface is slightly fluffy and cuddly, but the colour is austere and forbidding. Acting as a record of instances of the patient’s heart rate, blood pressure and oxygenation the hand sewn components are built up to contain both the internal skin of the site wrapped around the bedspace of the patient located in the middle of the gallery.

The exhibition was part of the Curatorial Lab component of the Masters of Art Curating program.

 

Being Towards Death, the exhibition

In Gallery five of the Sydney College of the Arts/ University of Sydney Gallery two Masters of Art Curating students, Tian Kang and Yunyan Tang selected my new installation Where they were last seen for their exhibition Being towards Death. Gallery five is an interesting mix between being a white cube and a non-white cube space. In this installation developed specifically for this exhibition and this site, the curatorial premise developed by Tian and Yunyang resulted in a more direct focus on the physicality of the Intensive Care Unit. The image shows a detail of one of the main elements of the space. The patient bedspace is sited directly underneath a large roof lantern or skylight. The overbed hospital table holds the bedside medical monitor playing the simulation of the visual data and sonic traces of a patient bleeding out while the silk paper bed and pillow shape refutes the functionality of the bed by its ephemeral, flimsy and seemingly transitory nature. The next post will address one of the other elements of the installation, the blanket work.

DSC04373Fiona Davies Where they were last seen (detail) 2018
Installation, silk paper, found objects, video, framed print, photographic print and fabric.
Size variable as installed Gallery 5 SCA Gallery Sydney. Photo credit Alex Gooding

In terms of the bedspace of the patient the body in healthcare settings occupies a complex but somewhat ambivalent position: it is at the centre of everything yet is at the same time oddly displaced and this is even more pronounced once that body is dead. Then apparently there is little tolerance for the sight of the dead body by others. Speciality transports are used to move the body from the place of death to the morgue. This conceals both the presence and/or the shape of the body.

It is possible that this well-intentioned consideration of the sensibilities of the living members of the public work to dislocate or sever the experiences of the recently dead patient’s family and carers. Until death they were associated with a specific location in the hospital, the bed or bedspace of the patient. After death and the transportation of the body to the morgue they tend to be cut free. There is no physical evidence of the patient in the public sphere of the hospital and the family and carers appear to be of limited further interest to the hospital.

The exhibition was part of the Curatorial Lab component of the Masters of Art Curating program.

Invitation to two exhibition openings next week.

On the 17th October from 6-8 p.m. an exhibition Being towards Death curated by University of Sydney, Masters of Art Curating, students, Tian Kang and Yunyan Tang  will open at the SCA Gallery, University of Sydney, Sydney. They have curated a new work of mine an installation titled Where they were last seen.  

IMG_3751On the following evening the 18th October also from 6-8 p.m. Tian and Yunyan with a number of other  Master of Art Curating students have also curated another work of mine into a group exhibition titled In Translation at Verge Gallery on the main campus of the University of Sydney.  The work selected for this exhibition is Racing Patience ICU, a performative installation from 2018.

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Podcast from late last year – art/science discussion

podcast click here

From the archives of ARTHouse on Radio BM 89.1 – In this Segment, Justin Morrissey leads this week’s panel discussion on ‘Art & Science’. Justin is joined by Damian Castaldi, Fiona Davies, Solange Kershaw and Julie Ankers. Two tracks from Out of Abingdon’s newest album are also featured.

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Image – At the Legacy day for Cudos in the Nano Science Hub at the School of Physics University of Sydney 2017