Hospital Equipment consists of an installation of an operating table and medical equipment, accompanied by a photograph of the installation exhibited in the gallery. By moving the scene of a life and death situation inside the gallery space, the viewer is positioned as a voyeur of war and loss. When the exhibition ends, the photograph remains with the collector who purchases the work, but the operating equipment is shipped directly to a hospital in a conflict zone to be used by doctors and patients.
Hospital Equipment questions our divergent reactions to the stream of media and humanitarian fundraising campaigns involving conflicts and challenges the conventions of contemporary art making, collecting and ownership. SUPERFLEX refers to the work as a “upside-down readymade.” Moving from a Duchampian “readymade” to potentially lifesaving medical instruments, the equipment oscillates between artwork and functional object, highlighting the role of context in the definition of artistic practice.
Hospital Equipment is an ongoing series of works, currently in use in The Salamieh Hospital in Syria and in the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, Palestine.