Video art as part of an installation entitled Veritas Curat, meaning Truth Cures: designed to be projected on a continuous loop around a real hospital bed, transforming the spectator into a virtual patient.
An interdisciplinary project in association with Natasha Hall, assisted by the composer Daniel Alzamora-Dickin, the Plastic Surgeon Dr Roca, the Orfeo Artanec choir, the University Hospital of Son Espases and the Ajuntament de Palma.
The musical composition can be described as brainwave entrainment music and is inspired by the medical uses of sound and frequencies to enhance the healing power of sound. Therefore it is best experienced with headphones to support biological structures and brain hemisphere symmetry.
This installation incorporating video art encourages the visitor to contemplate the multiple sensations of being a hospital patient and the enlightening experience of transcending the hospital experience within the context of Contemporary Art.
It consists of a real hospital bed surrounded by conventional hospital curtains, some of which are taut, and onto which the video art is projected. The projectors are out of view and outside of the space, projecting an image filmed in high-definition (1920x1080/60fr) by three cameras simultaneously. The spectator is invited to interact with the space by lying or sitting on the bed, and to be further immersed in the hallucinatory experience of a hospital ambient from the speakers placed under the bed. Real audio recorded inside a hospital is mixed with healing frequencies, the sounds of nature and of singing, to create a sense of escapism and multiple dimensions within time and space.
The collaborating artists Natasha Hall and Abraham Calero were selected to participate in a programme of professional creative development called ´Les Cliniques´ (The Clinics) by the director Nekane Aramburu of the Es Baluard Museum of Contemporary Art in Mallorca, Palma. The individual work of Natasha explores the limits of geographical space and time, whilst that of Abraham concerns the limits of the human body and psychology. Being of the same age and sharing a multidisciplinary university education, they quickly formed a professional collaboration uniting their distinct creative styles.
The hospital environment and the use of practicing medical professionals situate the spectator in the moment of an event. It questions the nature of the doctor/patient relationship, the objective truth of a diagnosis, the role of the doctor to empower the patient to make informed decisions about treatment options and the concept of a cure. Everyone at some time has been, or will be a patient, and therefore this installation references the truth of this unifying experience for the contemplation of the human condition.
The two scenes in nature represent escapism from reality, memories, dreams and essentially transcending a hospital experience. The continuity of life is reflected in the continuous loop of the video and the fluidity of the images chosen, which facilitate the spectator to enter and grasp the meaning of the installation at any moment. The bedside manner of the doctor and nurse spontaneously changed within the different scenes, so that they were markedly more relaxed within a natural context, potentially transmitting compassion and healing energy to the virtual patient.
The Church scene essentially connects with the reality of life, eventual mortality and the importance of living in the moment. The choir sing “Ave Verum” by Mozart, which was inspired by a Eucharistic hymn from a thousand years ago and ‘Verum’ translates as truth. The choir were visibly overwhelmed with emotions whilst participating in the filming process, and completely embraced the concept of visualising a virtual patient as a family member on the brink of life and death.
The passion with which the participants embraced the concept and the filming of the video came as a surprise to the artists. Abraham is sure that no one will go on the bed whilst Natasha embraces the playful possibilities for spectator interaction, and they both conceived the project to be an exercise in humility and reflection.
This interdisciplinary collaboration has been possible with the assistance of the composer Daniel Alzamora-Dickin, the Plastic Surgeon Dr Roca and the Orfeo Artanec choir who participated in the video, the psychologist Dr Gratton specialising in severe trauma, the international film editor Gareth C. Scales, the University Hospital of Son Espases and the Ajuntament Palma.