A short video set in the transition from surgery to the recovery room to somewhere else. The landscape is populated by hallucinations,, by competitions and by counting down to start. The ending is ambiguous
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
Just standing on your head waiting for the glue to dry that is sticking a button to your feet. Small figurines becoming playing tokens for a modified version of snakes and ladders that leads the players through a game outlining the stages of heart failure.
The game lies inside the wonder cabinet zinc box of Blood on Silk: Total Artificial heart (TAH). This work, the last in the series of five wonder cabinet works, provides another point of focus on the most elemental force behind the movement of blood and blood products: the beating of the heart. The heart is also one of the transplantable body parts and this junction between blood and body parts, the heart forms a focal point in this work.
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.
On 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.
Racing Patience ICU can be a tough game. There’s no taking turns and it can be physical and fast. This video starts by explaining the rules and finishes with a call for the video referee.
Video still from a new work Blood on Silk: Blood Running, 2018. The video will be projected onto the surface of a wondercabinet zinc box set on the top of a table. Part of the video of the running blood will occasionally extend onto the floor.
In the card game Racing Patience ICU there are two players. One draws a central card that describes the patient’s stats when entering ICU. Starting at the same time, one player represents the ICU team trying to bring the patient back into the normal or survivable ranges for blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygenation and rate of respiration. The other player sometimes called Death, attempts to take the patient out of those survivable ranges. Each player attempts to track the four parameters, keeping a rough tally in their head of the changes in the patient stats as each card is added to one of the four stacks. The players turn over their cards in groups of three, being able to play the top card only. It is not a social or fair game. It is extremely competitive and can be rough and physical as each player tries to get their card onto the stacks in the centre. Importantly there is no concept of taking turns. It requires an ability to focus on many things which are changing, all at the same time. At the end of five minutes an alarm sounds. The game is over. On a count-back the winner is decided. The winner is who determined whether the patient during that particular five minutes was in or out of the survivable range for the four vital signs. Who knows what happened in the next five minutes and if the ethics of particular interventions that drove the often widely swinging changes of the parameters were ever able to be considered.