Coinciding with Women’s History Month, the Health Show II will take place in three different Brooklyn locations in March 2018. This initiative is dedicated to a series of shows that took place in Lower Manhattan in February 1994, called The Women’s Health Show. Launched in collaboration with the Women’s Caucus for Art, The Women’s Health Show explored the American medical system, and questioned, “how women are perceived within it.” The original project included panels developed with community and arts organizations such as A.I.R., and SOHO20, which explored race and racism in healthcare, and medical research deficiencies for diseases affecting women and people of color. These concerns and the systemic imbalances they stem from, remain urgent problems today. The illnesses that primarily affect female and feminized bodies continue to receive proportionally less medical research, and women frequently face inadequate care due to entrenched sexism on the part of doctors. This contemporary iteration of the Health Show will focus on new projects that address health and care both in the medical industry and our day to day lives.
A.I.R. Gallery will present a video program exhibition titled Skin.Cells that explores health and care through the concepts of permeation and membrane. Examining epidermal boundaries in an ecology of collapse, these works imagine the infrastructure of the body within the infrastructure of organized care. Carolyn Lazard’s Improved Techniques foregrounds the bleak corners and grim views of the spaces where the sick are sent to get treated, the eerie shots dropping question after question as to how these particular elements came to situate themselves together in a foreboding, sterile environment. In Kerry Downey and Douglas Paulson’s Our Bodies Without Organs Ourselves medical moleskin and canvas are visually grafted on flesh, and over images of tenderness and naked intimacy.
In color and tone, the work blends the modes of ailing and sex, and redefines boundaries of interior and exterior. Osías Yanov’s VI Sesión en el Parlamento documents an elegantly choreographed performance in which iridescent bodies are affected and afflicted by a series of structures built to pierce them but which they work around to avoid. In Marianna Simnett’s The Needle and the Larynx the artist exposes herself to the effects of botox injections into her body that transform her voice. The work comments on the technological possibilities within the body. Evan Ifekoya's Ebi Flo (we are family) uses digital glitching and layered sounds to collapse space between the body, dreams, and the natural world. The works in this screening transfer in the words of Elizabeth Povinelli, from “sharp epidermal boundaries to fuzzy and open borders,” unveiling our contemporary condition of co-contamination and but also interdependence.