Hospital Equipment consists of an installation of operating theatre equipment and a photograph of the installation exhibited in the gallery. Setting the scene of a life and death situation inside the gallery space, the viewer is positioned as a voyeur to a fatal conflict of war and loss. When the exhibition ends, the operating equipment will be shipped directly to a selected hospital in a conflict zone to be used by doctors and patients. The photograph will remain with the collector who purchases the work.
Hospital Equipment questions our divergent reaction to the heavy stream of media and humanitarian fundraising campaigns involving conflicts of war and challenges the concept of contemporary art practice, collections and ownership. SUPERFLEX refers to the work as a ‘readymade upside down’. Transitioning from a Duchampian ‘readymade’ to a potentially lifesaving medical instrument, the equipment oscillates between artwork and functional object, highlighting the role of context in the definition of artistic practice.
Hospital Equipment is an act of exchange. The work faces the viewer with a gruesome situation that mirrors the consequences of the conflict – a life or death operation. It questions the object-based art collection, transgresses the concept of the white cube and expands the notion of the ready-made. Hospital Equipment has been exhibited at von Bartha S-chanf benefitting the Syrian hospital Salamieh and at Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art benefitting the Palestinian hospital Al-Shifa.
The Manager of Al-Shifa Hospital greeted the donation by SUPERFLEX and the efforts of PalMed-Denmark and Dr. Mohammed Abu Nada, the head of Gaza Office for their effective management and relocation of the equipments to Al-Shifa complex and for upgrading the level of services provided to citizens.
'The donation comes as a continuation of the humanitarian relief offered by SUPERFLEX, whom are known for their engagement with the Palestinian community, noting that this support comes to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people under the suffocating siege on the health sector in Gaza', Dr. Mahmoud Ismail, head of PalMed – Danish branch, says.
SUPERFLEX would like to thank the 3 private collections. Also thanks to WHO, Simonsen & Weel and PalMed for their collaboration and assistance during the entire process.
Author: Nikolaj Stobbe, 2015
Author: Christian Viveros-Fauné, 2015