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-K-i-n-g-d-o-m- of the Ill at MUSEION of Modern and Contemporary Art Bolzano

September 30, 2022–March 5, 2023

Opening: September 30, 7–10pm

OCCUPY Museion: September 30, 8:30pm–12am, an event by Museion Art Club Forum

OPENING THE PILL: November 17–19,an event by Museion Art Club Forum

-K-i-n-g-d-o-m- of the Ill is an international group exhibition curated by Sara Cluggish (Mary Hulings Rice Director, Perlman Teaching Museum, Carleton College) and Pavel S. Pyś (Curator, Visual Arts, Walker Art Center). The second edition of TECHNO HUMANITIES, a lengthy study project started by MUSEION Director Bart van der Heide, will debut on September 30, 2022. A number of free public activities and a Hatje Cantz anthology of recently commissioned critical writings serve as a foundation for the exhibition.

The entire museum is taken up by the exhibition “K-i-n-g-d-o-m- of the Ill,” which looks into the modern social, corporate, and institutional systems that affect how we experience healing and wellbeing. The exhibition asks how and by whom a body is characterized as healthy or sick in order to address the contemporary discussion on health and disease, pollution and purity, and care and neglect.

The exhibition includes works by Enrico Boccioletti, Brothers Sick (Ezra and Noah Benus), Shu Lea Cheang, Heather Dewey-Hagborg & Phillip Andrew Lewis, Julia Frank, Sharona Franklin, Barbara Gamper, Nan Goldin, Johanna Hedva, Ingrid Hora, Adelita Husni-Bey, Ian Law, Carolyn Lazard, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Juliana Cerqueira Leite & Zoë Claire Miller, Mary Maggic, Mattia Marzorati, Prescription Addiction Intervention Now (P.A.I.N.), Erin M. Riley, P. Staff, and Lauryn Youden.

-K-i-n-g-d-o-m- of the Ill presents over 20 artists whose works draw on their lived experiences. Some of the artists question the line between a healthy and diseased body on a regular basis. They identify as chronically ill or disabled. The exhibition’s name alludes to Susan Sontag’s critical theory piece Illness as Metaphor (1978). Sontag’s binary division between the two “kingdoms” of the healthy and the ill is challenged by the strikethrough in the term “kingdom” in the title of the show. Health and illness, according to the curators, are not two distinct realms but rather are entangled and coexist.

The exhibit looks into how market incentives and welfare systems affect healthcare and how we challenge accepted notions of what constitutes good health. Can we still claim to be truly healthy in this era of pandemic, rising social anxiety, rising healthcare expenditures, increased surveillance of medical data, and growing precarity among the creative class?

-K-i-n-g-d-o-m- of the Ill highlights flaws, inequities, and shortcomings in the public health system that have come to the surface during the COVID-19 pandemic and observes the ways in which support networks are imagined alongside alternative methods of well-being.

Curators Sara Cluggish and Pavel S. Pyś: “We began developing -K-i-n-g-d-o-m- of the Ill in 2019 and the exhibition has certainly been reshaped by the pandemic. It has brought all matters of health and illness into sharp relief. The COVID-19 outbreak has not only informed ongoing debates on the national, financial, political, and ideological dimensions of healthcare provisions, but also shaped our personal experiences of how we receive and provide care, guard personal space through social distancing, and decide whether or not to share physical space with others. For many who identify as ill, this mode of navigating the world and our healthcare systems is nothing new and has been, to varying degrees, their experience of life prior to the pandemic.”

The exhibition also addresses health-related issues that are particularly pertinent to South Tyrol, such as discussions of mental health, the importance of holistic or alternative forms of care, as well as significant advancements in preventive healthcare.

These questions are addressed by João FlorêncioShu Lea ChengZander PorterMarina OrlovaBarbara PlaggSimone FrangiMary MaggicEnrico FloriddiaSilvia CasiniMartina Drechsel, and Casa Basaglia/Meran.

An anthology of critical texts, the second in the TECHNO HUMANITIES publication series, will be published by Hatje Cantz to amplify the discourses surrounding the exhibition’s topics. The book includes texts by Bart van der Heide, Sara Cluggish, Pavel S. Pyś, Lioba Hirsch, Amy Berkowitz, Artur Olesch, Mary Maggic, P. Staff, and Lynn Hershman Leeson.

MUSEION—Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Bolzano-Bozen
Piazza Piero Siena, 1
39100 Bolzano
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