Vivian Charlesworth | Intrasectum
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In our techno-driven society, the division between the virtual and the natural world has become deeper. Humans are spending more time hooked up to their devices, than engaging with the physical world. Intrasectum considers a sort of biological future where humans are so disjointed from the natural world that they must physically inject it into their bodies.
Upon entering the space, the viewer is confronted by a live woman in a tub hooked up to an IV full of insects. The woman, nude, watches an “informational video” while a projection of butterflies flies about the space.
Intrasectum was inspired by Victorian hydrotherapy practices in British and American mental institutions. Depending on the patient’s ailment they would receive a continuous bath ranging from several hours to several days. Often they were strapped into the tub and forced to listen to an audio program that would seduce them into a meditative state.
Voltaire said, “The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.” In Intrasectum, the informational video, made from found footage, illustrates what is happening to the patient, but its abstracted message provokes a feeling of hypnosis rather than illuminating the viewer of the medical process.

Installation, 2013

Video projection, found objects and appliances, IV bag, rubber, insects, audio, video.