Israel unveils hospital to cure social ills at Venice Art Biennale

The 58th International Art Exhibition "La Biennale di Venezia" was inaugurated on Saturday.

May 12, 2019 14:03
1 minute read.
art installation Field Hospital X (FHX) by artist Aya Ben Ron

art installation Field Hospital X (FHX) by artist Aya Ben Ron. (photo credit: ISRAELI PAVILION - BIENNALE DI VENEZIA 2019 - ELAD SARIG)


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The Israeli Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition "La Biennale di Venezia" was inaugurated in Venice on Saturday.

The Pavilion features the art installation Field Hospital X (FHX) by the Israeli artist and professor Aya Ben-Ron, which is designed as a healthcare facility. Ben-Ron conceived it in order to create a space to screen No Body, a video that tells her experience on abuse in the family after many years of silence.

“When visitors enter Field Hospital X, they are patients, recipients of care,” curator Avi Lubin said in a statement. “They take a queue number and wait in the Reception Area. When their number is called, they go to the reception desk and choose a Risk-Wristband. In the Reception Area, they watch the FHX TV Program, where they are told to ‘be patient; be a patient.’"

Lubin further explained that the facility also includes a "Safe-Unit" where visitors learn how to produce a "Self-Contained Shout." “Afterwards, they sit on a Care-Chair, where they can personally view a short video by an invited artist, confronting a social ill through a personal story,” he added.

The design of the Care-Chairs is inspired by dental and gynecologist chairs.

Established in 1952, the Israeli Pavilion was modeled this year after a visit to a hospital. The underlying theme of the project is to explore the role of art in the face of social ills. After the end of the Biennale, Field Hospital X is expected to travel to further locations.

“The title of this Exhibition could be interpreted as a sort of curse”, Biennale President Paolo Baratta said in a statement, “where the expression ‘interesting times’ evokes the idea of challenging or even ‘menacing’ times, but it could also simply be an invitation to always see and consider the course of human events in their complexity, an invitation, thus, that appears to be particularly important in times when, too often, oversimplification seems to prevail, generated by conformism or fear.”

The 2019 edition of the Exhibition sees the participation of 90 countries.

The 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, titled May You Live In Interesting Times, is open to the public from May 11 to November 24, 2019.

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