COVID-19 … can I start with Beyond Pharmakon?

Pharmakon (from Greek φάρμακον):

1) remedy; 2) poison; 3) scapegoat

COVID-19 started to spread and to threaten and I was hesitating to go public with Beyond Pharmakon. I started last year to work on it with the first portray, continued with researches and planned the presentation in February of this year. It was already difficult enough to keep the concept and description simple as I love to see the whole complex in one spot knotting thoughts together keeping it difficult. But as I can’t pour the ocean in a drinking glass I decided to split all the topics, concepts, and thesis around pharmakon and go on a long journey.
And then the Coronavirus pandemic: from disaster capitalism to social justice, from isolation to solidarity, this pivotal event unveils the worst and the best of societies and single beings within and it seems we are only at the beginning of an awareness shift.
So, I decided to expand this project a bit asking the portrayed artist, cultural worker or researcher, if s*he wishes to comment or contribute to the current events. In the end, it is not “my” work, but a work that reflect the sense of “we”, as beings conscious of our connectivity in complex systems with our complex personalities.

here is the project: Beyond Pharmakon – Collecting fragments for an imaginary embodiment: portrays of artist, curators, and scientists with the use of medical images

In the work series Beyond Pharmakon I portrait artists, curators, and researchers by using their medical images of their past or current condition of disease or disablement. The images are mostly x-rays and MRIs I artistically modify and combine with texts as visual structure, and drawings. The texts I use till now are taken from Plato’s Pharmacy by Derrida and Phaedrus by Plato as well Antonin Artaud’s The Theater and its Double.

With Beyond Pharmakon, I wish to indicate the disease as a potential for consciousness transformation towards life, memory, and empathy of the individual and in its connectivity as social body.  In their activities, artists, curators, and researchers open up possibilities of discourse as they deal with multileveled and alternative realities and therefore “treat and cure” social awareness.

rachela abbate Anonymus_Beyond-Pharmakon_printed-on-paper_2020_80x10cm_©Rachela-Abbate-copie-scaled Art in times of Coronavirus - Beyond Pharmakon
Anonymus from the series Beyond Pharmakon, 2020, 80 x 100cm,©Rachela-Abbate

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