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Untitled (Intensive care service)
Robert Barry

Patrons - Nancy Brabois University Hospital Center medical reanimation service
Mediator - Xavier Douroux, Le Consortium
CHU Nancy Brabois, Nancy, France, 2011 - en cours

The context

Led by Bruno Levy, Professor of Medicine, the Medical Reanimation Department of the Nancy Brabois University Hospital wanted to commission a work that explicitly deals with the subject of isolation.

Several events have determined this orientation:
- the emergence of a difficulty in their daily work due to the impact of the precautionary principle: the establishment of a double door to isolate rooms to prevent nosocomial infections makes it impossible to perceive the audible alarms specific to certain machines ensuring the survival of patients.
- the difficulty encountered in having an isolated space in the department for dialogue between doctors and patients' families.

The theme of "exclusion" in our societies has emerged as a backdrop: concerning the health isolation of many patients arriving in the service because of their social marginalization, but also - in the dynamics of exchanges with the mediator - the relative but real sealing between the art world and the "mainstream society".

The commission

In close collaboration with the group of patrons, Robert Barry has selected a list of words in French that he will use for an installation that combines lettering and video throughout the entire space of the hospital intensive care unit.

Robert Barry

Robert Barry (born 1936 in the Bronx, NYC) is one of the leading figures in conceptual art.

Since 1969, he has been proposing a series of works composed of words written on simple sheets of paper or diffused in space by means of slide projections, loudspeakers, inscriptions on the walls (wallpiece),...

Often used for their ability to describe the impressions one may have in front of a work, these words do not constitute an analytical or critical language, but rather proceed by allusion and possess a plurality of meanings that evoke associations of ideas with the architectural or psychological context in which they are captured ; the work as a whole is "space". Often for his "wallpieces", the words inscribed in one sense and then in the other, without beginning, without end, are at the edges of the wall, at the limits of the place that is devoted to them to make us more aware of our environment.