Health as Metaphor

Curator: Alan Sierra

Ramiro Ávila, Ismaïl Bahri, José Bedia, Santiago Borja, Pedro Caetano, Isa Carrillo, Sebastian Gräfe,Diego Gutiérrez, Ariel Guzik,  N. Samara Guzmán Fernández, Jerónimo Hagerman, Anna Halprin, Pierre Huyghe,  Alexa Karolinski / Ingo Niermann, Andrea Mármol, Shana Moulton, Tania Pérez Córdova, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, Jennifer Teets / Lorenzo Cirrincione & Franz Erhard Walther

From September 1, 2017, through February 11, 20178

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This has been the definition of health of the World Health Organization since 1948. Although the concept has lost none of its validity, its application is by no means generalized.

In spite of the great progress achieved by the health sciences, the way these sciences are instrumented in developed nations often ends in an impasse: a patient may fail to understand his or her condition owing to a stated incapacity for self-recovery, stopgap measures may be taken to treat the conditions, and –in a worst case scenario– the patient may fail to gain complete knowledge of a cure.

The medical mind observes a body, interprets its signs, and comes up with a verifiable diagnosis. But what about the patient who has been examined? To what extent does subjective bodily experience play a role in the success of a treatment?

In everyday health care there are certain beliefs, remedies, and treatments for the body whose effects are not necessary provable, but they do offer consolation. Traditional medicine, experimental therapies, and even sympathetic magic have an enormous potential in narrowing the gap between clinical practice and our universal capacity to feel relief.

Health as Metaphor is an exhibition that seeks to explore certain artistic practices dealing with the care and understanding of the human body and with the treatment of real or imaginary ills, from a perspective different from that of allopathic medicine.

Although the exhibition takes a critical stance regarding the domination of evidence-based medicine and the weakening of personal agency in health care, both private and public, it also presents a series of works that seek to contribute to the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of the visitor.

Alan Sierra