Work in Progress: Time of Death – Series Three

Working on a Time of Death series is a recurring event in my practice. First occurring in 2010 they circle around to be remade every two to three years. A video work will accompany these still images from Series Three and be overlaid with the sound track of the reading of a fairy-tale Once Upon a Time, Long Ago and Far Away: Pulling the Plug.

A video work made earlier this year as part of the fairy-tale reading series can be seen on my Vimeo channel. That work is titled, Once Upon a Time, Long Ago and Far Away: Being Moved from One Place to Another https://vimeo.com/355286468

Site 1 of my work Woven Architecture at the State Silk Museum in Tbilisi Georgia.

The work traces the marks on a bedside medical monitor showing the changes in the heartbeat, oxygenation and blood pressure of a patient whose abdominal aortic aneurysm has ruptured.

Fiona Davies, Woven Architecture – Site 1, 2019, Ribbon,thread and tape.
Dimensions variable. As installed in The State Silk Museum, Tbilisi Georgia
Photo credit Alex Gooding

The plague and its continuing presence.

From the Sunday Morning Medicine wordpress site roundup of that weeks interesting takes on medical history comes a fantastic article by the staff writer on the Atlantic, Sarah Zhang about the Soviet attempts to eradicate the plague in the twentieth century.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/05/when-soviets-tried-to-eradicate-the-plague/589570/

It made me think of the amazing work by Amy Chan and Natalie Kit-Ying Cheung The Hong Kong Plague of 1894 and the slow reveal that takes place in that work exposing the medicalisation of the causes of the plague.

Read the article if you can. At least go there to check out the historic photos.

From Day One of the Install at The State Silk Museum in Tbilisi – Choose the First Site.

This is the first of three sites at the State Silk Museum in Tbilisi choosen for the site specific work Woven Architecture . Thinking more and more about the power structures of architecture and the ways this is carried over to the contemporary architectural response and of course how that is translated into hospital and ICU design.

Video of Stage One in the Performative Lecture ‘ Cast a Cold Eye on Life, on Death is online.

From May 10th to 18th, 2019.the artist, Fiona Davies, undertook 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 led a small group of viewers through these works, involved them in activities and if they wanted to. encouraged them to participate in conversations about medicalised death.From May 10th to 18th, 2019.the artist, Fiona Davies, undertook 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 led a small group of viewers through these works, involved them in activities and if they wanted to. encouraged them to participate in conversations about medicalised death.

This video is of the first stage in the lecture. It starts with an oral history given by an ICU nurses about one patient and her death. This oral history is quoted from ‘David Crippen, End-of-Life Communication in the ICU: A Global Perspective (New York: Springer, 2008): 52.’ Then Davies sits behind the audience to tell a fairy tale while they watch the simulation on the medical monitor of a patient rupturing an abdominal aneurysm and bleeding out to 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.

‘Cast a Cold eye on Life, on Death’ is a quote by WB Yeats