THE REMEDY IS IN THE AFFLICTION
The emergency department is a site that exposes vulnerability and suffering as necessary steps towards healing and transformation. The emergency room mirrors the emotional extremes of life with its pace, its exposure of human fragility, its physical traumas, and its mental conflicts. There is an innate suffering and vulnerability in the lived experience that art and medicine can attempt to reconcile. Art and medicine are not separate ends unto themselves, they both have the potential to confront and transform the adversity and mystery of life.
The work for this thesis involves two processes: the making of objects which transform medical devices, and the creation of collaged paintings using myself as the subject. By removing a medical device from its original state and rendering it incapable of performing its intended use, I remove a barrier between fear and mortality, a step toward acceptance. By using myself, a physician and artist, as a subject who is susceptible to suffering and representative of a larger audience, I allow the work to access a more expansive understanding of vulnerability. The work is intended to expose our wounds as necessary steps toward transformation.