The -K-i-n-g-d-o-m- of the Ill exhibition is the second chapter in the long-term research program TECHNO HUMANITIES launched in 2021 by the Museion Director Bart van der Heide with the TECHNO exhibition (on display until 16 March 2022). In the years to come the program will continue to engage Museion spaces and activities by exploring the way in which phenomena connected to technology, ecology and free global exchange have become entwined with each other and our own identities.
Through the work and contributions of artists and international activists, -K-i-n-g-d-o-m- of the Ill seeks to respond to the current debate on health and illness, contamination and purity, care and neglect by asking about how and by whom a body is defined as healthy or sick, in what ways welfare systems and corporate assistance determine healthcare, and how the common definitions of good health can be breached.
The title of the exhibition – curated by Sara Cluggish and Pavel S. Pyś with a layout designed by the Diogo Passarinho Studio – refers to the work of the American critic Susan Sontag Illness as Metaphor (1978), indicating that this research, which starts from Sontag’s reflections, investigates the relationship between the individual and the contemporary social, corporate and institutional systems that influence our experience of healing and well-being. Given burnout, nervous breakdowns, public healthcare cuts, rampant capitalist exploitation and the growing lack of distinction between online and offline can we still really say we are fit and healthy?
The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on these issues and the fragility of the human body, while forced isolation has changed social customs, making isolation, for example, the new normal for many people dealing with illness.
-K-i-n-g-d-o-m- of the Ill expresses an important time in which serious malpractices have come to light. It is a period that has led us to re-imagine fundamental healing methods, support networks, well-being and friendship.
The exhibition investigates this new relationship between health and illness through three interconnected perspectives: ecology (in what ways are climate change and pollution affecting our view of health and illness?), economics (how can we imagine a common future at a time of economic depression, austerity politics and the continued dismantling of the welfare state? And what alternatives to health and well-being exist beyond models of private healthcare?), and technology (in what ways can anarchic practices and disobedience give life to new methods? Can technology and digital systems become forms of protest, community and democratic participation?).
The exhibition is accompanied by a public program developed for the Museion Art Club focused on mental health. This includes discussions on depression, sickness and health that are of great and immediate importance in the local area. During an event lasting several days, through the contributions of researchers, artists and experts, the program will offer further opportunities for discussion and insight.
-K-i-n-g-d-o-m- of the III includes works by Enrico Boccioletti, Brothers Sick, Nan Goldin and Prescription Addiction Intervention Now, Ian Law, Prescription Addiction Intervention Now (P.A.I.N.), Lynn Hershman Leeson, Adelita Husni-Bey, Carolyn Lazard, Shu Lea Cheang, Mary Maggic, Mattia Marzorati and P. Staff.
TECHNO HUMANITIES 2 -K-i-n-g-d-o-m- of the III is supported by a research group consisting of Bart van der Heide, Sara Cluggish, Pavel S. Pyś and Frida Carazzato.
-K-i-n-g-d-o-m- of the Ill: Second chapter of TECHNO HUMANITIES (2021-2023)
Curated by Sara Cluggish and Pavel S. Pyś
Exhibition design by Diogo Passarinho Studio
Team: Diogo Passarinho and Gonçalo Reynolds
Photography: Luca Guadagnini
The public programme for the exhibition will include talks, meetings, film screenings and a series of online and offline events organised as part of Museion Art Club, with the support of Museion Private Founders.