MYOPIA

Sygdommens Ansigt

Medicinsk Museion, Copenhagen

August-October 2006

Inspireret af Susan Sontags berømte essay Illness as Metaphor (1977) har 27 unge billedkunstnere set sygdommen i øjnene og skabt nye værker, der står som små øjenåbnere eller vinduer ind til steder, hvor sjælen blafrer rundt i den urolige nat – på jagt efter nyt territorium, på jagt efter hvile, på jagt efter forståelse.

Participants: Kristina Ask, Lone Bank, Linda Bjørnskov, Peter Brandt, Thorgej Steen Hansen, Lise Harlev, Molly Haslund, Jens Hultquist, Ulla Hvejsel, Orsolya Bagala Larsen, Anna Lindberg, Jonas Liveröd, Karin Lorentzen, Tomas Lagermand Lundme, Liv Carlé Mortensen, Mie Mørkeberg, Charlotte Petersen, Peter Chr. Petersen, Lars Rank, Tanja Rau, Mille Rude, Viktor Storjord, Barbro Westling/ Peter Johansson, Mette Winckelmann, Pernille Priergaard Worsøe, Maria Wæhrens.

Curated by: Huskegruppen

For the exhibition Sygdommens Ansigt (The face of Illness) I chose to create a suggestive image of the climate in the state of Denmark.

Focussing on the challenge of the exhibition, being on display in street level windows in a Medical Museum – a space between private and public domain – I chose to look at the kind of communication taking place in this kind of context; the address a resident, a shop owner a.o. towards a public with potential interest in or relation to the particular space.

I found stickers available in shops selling goods such as door handles, hangers, tools ect. with what would be the most common message to display in a window facing a public space.

These sticker-messages are usually warning like 'this space is under surveillance' and 'there is a dog guarding this space'. The sticker above is an example of a message, where the warning is a direct threat, it says "Bikes are removed without responsibility." In other words the owner of the space behind the window is taking the law into the persons own hands and threatening to remove property positioned outside the property – without taking the responsibility. this is of cause illegal.

Another example I have come across quite often is hand written messages saying: "Here is absolutely nothing of value!" – directed at potential thieves. Along the same lines is the sticker announcing that the space has an alarm; these are usually just preemptive.

As a display of how people communicate in and between semi-public/semi-private spaces Myopia is a suggestive image of the mental climate of Denmark. Feelings of fear of others and the hostility towards strangers are handled by threats and irresponsibility.

Myopia is a definition of near-sight or close-sight:

1. Inability to see distant things clearly
2. Inability to consider or plan the future



Vindues-installationen Myopi er et billede på en mental tilstand, hvor i opfattelsen af verden er indsnævret og måske angstpræget. Som et 'ansigt udadtil', et 'vindue mod verden' er Myopi et billede på en tilstand, der kan diagnostiseres via en række tegn i samfundet. Eksempelvis tegn på angst. Angst for ikke at have kontrol, angst for det, der er fremmed, angst for at blive set, angst for ikke at blive set, angst for at blande og overskride kategoriseringer, som eksempelvis køn, sexualitet, tilhørsforhold og normer, der er betegnet ved at være genneraliserende og dogmatiske. Disse sypmtomer er tegn på en 'mental myopi' – kollektiv som individuel – afledt af sociale så vel som politiske omstændigheder og påvirkninger. Noget truer, der er intet udsyn, ting på afstand bliver uskarpe, verden opfattes sort/hvid.