Pains are moving, alluring us to world-making-activities, attuning our bodies with other bodies and therefore putting us in relation to others. Pains cut into our net of habits, and even the slightest pain causes a transformation. Pains are crushing, deeply distressing, showing us our limitations – but also our capability to go beyond our limits, to outgrow ourselves.
In the course of my literary research for this project I generated 10 PAIN CATEGORIES that I derived from poems, philosophical and literary texts on pain, and my own experiences. These poetical/pictorial categories differ profoundly from pain categories as they are to be found in common pain questionnaires: They refer to the existential dimension of pain and do not differentiate between physical and mental pain in order to overcome the myth of this dichotomy. The next step of my project consisted in going into the field to look at, imagine and feel into pain. I conducted methodical observations in the casualty departments of two Viennese hospitals and developed my own method of "self-reflective observation in the mode of seeing/feeling". The assemblages as part of this exposition present the results of these investigations and reconstruct different perspectives on PAIN as an EXISTENTIAL PHENOMENON.
In this exposition on the peripheries of medicine and art I will enrole the concept of my project "Lycanthropus erythematosus" and the applied strategies of artistic research.
The essence of the work is the proposal of a new thesis concerning the understanding of autoimmune diseases, especially of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE, lupus).
SLE is a rare autoimmune disease characterised by acute and chronic inflammation of various tissues of the body. Its cause and pathogenesis are still unknown.
The work aims at providing new knowledge in regard to these open questions. Its thesis is exposed in different formats resulting from different strategies of artistic research. It proposes to understand autoimmunity as the expression of transformative processes that cause various physical and mental effects in the afflicted organism. This ongoing metamorphosis is driven by a plan: it is about the emerging of a new being – the Lycanthropus erythematosus.