Ann Hamilton reflects on the evolution of her public art works in HI’s Faculty Fellows Seminar on Health, Well-Being, Healing
By Clare Callahan
Last week’s Humanities Institute Faculty Fellows Seminar on “Health, Well-Being, Healing” hosted internationally recognized visual artist Ann Hamilton to speak on O N E E V E R Y O N E, a public art project commissioned by Landmarks for the Dell Medical School. O N E E V E R Y O N E opened on January 27, and Hamilton was in Austin for the opening. Hamilton’s O N E E V E R Y O N E, as Landmarks describes the project, “is framed by the idea that human touch and intimacy are the most essential means of contact and the fundamental expression of physical care. More than 500 participants in several Austin locations were photographed through a semi-transparent membrane that sharply focused parts of the body that made contact with the material and softly blurred the parts that moved away from it. The optical quality of the material renders touch—something felt, more than seen—visible.”
The light increasing –the sun must be rising. Itreveals the window as frosted over.Wood muntined, with four small panes, it resembles a house window more than a hospital window. What is it doing in this hallwherehe lies onastretcher outsidethefull–to–capacity ward?He thinks this unfolding in time of the windowgrowing lighter is beautiful, is beautyitself. Yet no one notices. Who can affordthe patience? The doctors circulate on appointed rounds, stopping only for the sick and wounded. Is attentionto something like this windowthe work ofartists? He does not know the answer to that yet, but he thinks that only artists and sick peoplestop,outof inclinationor necessity,to study beauty thattakes solong.The hospital staff has materialized this moment for him, all its factorsof time, place, and breath.
Excerpt from “Patience” by Matthew Goulish, Dramaturge. His full length essay will be delivered on January 26 at 7pm in the LBJ Auditorium at our upcoming event, co-sponsored with Landmarks, “O N E E V E R Y O N E: A Conversation with Ann Hamilton.” See our calendar on the left sidebar for more information.
Photo: Robert Westminster by Ann Hamilton from O N E E V E R Y O N E
In medicine, guidelines as to best practices often emerge from the lessons of history. To take in what has happened. To prevent what has happened from happening again. Teaching a student about the transmission of infection from one body to another, the instructor asks the student to press one unwashed hand onto the agar plate and lift it up again, then wait. Days pass. What appears is tiny marks on the surface of the agar, formed into the silhouette of a hand.
Excerpt from “Five Variations on the Opposite of Any Handprint” by Natalie Shapero, Professor of the Practice of Poetry at Tufts University. Her full length essay will be delivered on January 26 at 7pm in the LBJ Auditorium at our upcoming event, co-sponsored with Landmarks, “O N E E V E R Y O N E: A Conversation with Ann Hamilton.” See our calendar on the left sidebar for more information.