Syringe with blood, resin, metal fittings, film with family tree

W20 D200 H20 mm



2009 Iwami Contemporary Art Exhibition 2009

Former Iwami Hospital, Tottori, Japan

When I heard that the venue of this exhibition was going to be an “abandoned old hospital,” which was at once the keyword for the exhibition, it was the “hospital” part and what I associated with it, that intrigued me more than the idea of an exhibition in an “abandoned building.” The idea of a hospital conjured such negative images as death, illness, injury, pain and despair, that stem from human relationships, but I thought at the same time also about such positive things as life, cure and hope. Briefly imagining what an abandoned old hospital would be like, was enough for me imagine the extraordinary presence that one must feel at such a place. So what could I do at an abandoned old hospital? As the request to exhibit something there happened to come at a time when some private events had just caused me to reflect on things like life, death and relationships, I decided to create a site-specific work that refers to the venue’s characteristics, and started thinking about how to approach that.It happens that we can sense in familiar places the existence of humanity at large. When trying to trace one’s lineage, one’s own family tree gradually gets sketchier due to missing data the further one goes back in time, making it increasingly difficult to find out about ancestors, and ultimately, one’s roots. But no matter how incomplete such data may be, the memory of multilayered human relationships and mankind itself, from times long before such records and lost data, is stored in the blood that flows in our bodies.This fact, along with my curiosity, inspired me to focus on blood as a symbol of humanity, and exhibit my own family tree along with a syringe filled with my own blood, to visualize the invisible, dynamic microcosm of mankind that one can imagine from blood relations. The blood-filled syringe is enclosed in a key holder, to hint at the fact that sometimes tokens of humanity are buried at rather close and familiar places.

                                                                                                                                             Translated by Andreas Stuhlmann