Hôpital Bellechasse is a site-specific artwork that explores issues of vulnerability and control in relation to our social institutions. It was exhibited as part of a group exhibition entitled Hôpital, organized by articule gallery. Twenty or so artists were invited to create site-specific artworks in Hôpital Bellechasse, a de-commissioned hospital soon to be renovated as a facility for senior citizens.
In this artwork a small surveillance camera was placed in an empty hospital room. A live feed from the camera was sent to two monitors. On one monitor the viewer could see themselves in the empty room and on other they were superimposed with standard hospital room furniture. This second video feed was also sent to a detailed cardboard scale model of Hôpital Bellechasse in an adjoining room.
Issues of technology and control are at the forefront of this artwork. The hospital itself is a series of complicated regulatory and monitoring devices to which the body is both physically and metaphorically attached. By placing a hospital within the perimeters of a hospital room I am asking the viewer to consider the hospital and by extension the health care system, as a transitory and ailing social body. Personal issues related to health care are transposed upon the body of the hospital and the viewer’s body, as they are literally projected into the hospital’s interior.
Photographs: Paul Litherland
© 2001 Loades