A new version of SUPERFLEX’s Hospital Equipment, originally presented at von Bartha, S-chanf in February 2017, has now been shipped to and installed at Salamieh Hospital, Syria to be used by staff and patients. Working closely with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) Syria and the hospital to identify what is needed, SUPERFLEX sourced necessary surgical tools - a mobile lamp, a surgeon‘s table and a surgical bearing - which were then exhibited within the gallery space. Following the exhibition, the tools - conceived as a single artwork – have now been received in Syria.
Dr. Maher Aboumayaleh, the manager of AKDN Health Programme in Syria, explains:
“In these times of crisis, Salamieh’s public hospital is under more and more pressure. So, the hospital equipment arrived just in time. The equipment is the most advanced we have in the hospital and it has widened the hospital’s capacity to perform more advanced procedures. Salamieh is known as a diverse district with a population of app. 280.000. Urban, rural and Bedouin citizens with mixed Shia and Sunni backgrounds all live here where the hospital serves everyone equally”.
Setting the scene of a life and death situation inside the von Bartha gallery space, the work initially positioned the viewer as voyeur, with SUPERFLEX calling into question our relationships towards seemingly remote world crises. Moreover, the work challenges the concept of contemporary art practice, collections and ownership; SUPERFLEX establishes a platform where a gesture is activated when the art collector purchases the installation. The collector is never in possession of the objects, since they were transported directly from the exhibition to Salamieh Hospital. The collector does, however, get a certificate of authenticity and a photograph of the installation, as a form of documentation of the work’s existence in the art world.
About the work
Title: Hospital Equipment
Media: Operating table, surgical lights, surgical instruments table, 3 photographs
Note: Following the exhibition the objects were immediately transported to the Salamieh Hospital in Syria to be used by staff and patients.
Courtesy: von Bartha, vonbartha.com