Ex-Voto: The Body + The Institution is a group exhibition at Galway Arts Centre that addresses the colonisation of the human body, the treatment of the body by state, corporate, medical and pharmaceutical institutions, and the subjective experiences of health and illness in the context of these institutions.
The relationship between Institution and the individual, the role of power and the impact of capitalism and commerce are investigated in works by five contemporary visual artists and a writer: Lucy Beech, Jenna Bliss, Cecilia Bullo, Judy Foley, Rajinder Singh and Sinéad Gleeson.
Incredible, thought-provoking work at Ex-Voto (particularly Judy Foley’s hand-sown wax paper heart valves, and Rajinder Singh’s photos and clay piece "Tumors"). Honoured to be part of it with Panopticon. Thanks to Maeve Mulrennan for her superb curation and to @GalwayArtsCentr. pic.twitter.com/RXRs2yYIz5— Sinéad Gleeson (@sineadgleeson) January 20, 2018
The exhibition frames the participating artists as witnesses, mirroring philosopher and critic Michel Foucault's theories in his seminal work The Birth of the Clinic - that clinical medicine is fundamentally an encounter between people.
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Foucault's addressed the patient's corporeal experience and vulnerability in the context of modern medicine:
"The presence of disease in the body, with its tensions & its burnings, the silent world of the entrails, the whole dark underside of the body lined with endless unseeing dreams, are challenged as to their objectivity by the reductive discourse of the doctor, as well as established as multiple objects meeting his positive gaze."
EX-VOTO: The Body + The Institution is at Galway Arts Centre until March 10 - more details here.