'Stendhal Syndrome': an exhibition of medical art from the perspective of the patient and the practitioner
Saturday 18 October - Monday 17 November
George Petelin Gallery
58 Beale St (cnr of Smith St), Southport, Queensland
 
Stendhal Syndrome, named after the 19th century French novelist who is said to have suffered from it, is a psychosomatic illness that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion, and even hallucinations, when an individual is exposed to art.

The exhibition, 'Stendhal Syndrome', presents art that deals with medical intervention in conditions far removed from the psychosomatic. And it attempts to do so from two viewpoints: that of the patient and that of the medical professional who has someone’s life in their hands—be they doctor, nurse, or research scientist.

For three of the artists, being a patient has been a lifeshaping experience. Jonathan McBurnie, Brad Nunn, and Eden St James have each undergone extensive medical procedures. Jonathan contracted leukaemia as a teenager, Brad suffered a stroke as the after effect of a traumatic accident, and Eden St James uses the artist's own body as a biological experiment in gender change. These experiences are integral to their art work.

The medical profession often finds itself at a contentious interface of technology and the public. The remaining artists in this show Andre Brodyk, Trish Adams, and Alicia King, like Eden St James are drawn to the issues and techniques of medical science. As well as exploring bizarre possibilities for our future, these artists try to make us acutely aware of the ethical boundaries that present themselves, and have to be negotiated, in the deployment of medical technology.
 

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Meg Heaslop
Biotext (Brisbane Office)
14 Horan St West End 4101
Postal address: PO Box 734
South Brisbane 4101
Ph: (07) 3844 4004 Fax: (07) 3846 7144
Email: meg.heaslop@biotext.com.au

Biotext is a science information consultancy specialising in health, agriculture and the environment (http://www.biotext.com.au)