A corrupting metaphor? Artists ponder disease & the arts – Thursday 8 December talk at RMIT Gallery

Lienors Torre, Cabinet of Ocular Obscurities, referencing the grotesque sideshow or museum displays of biological abnormalities. Morbis Artis: Diseases of the Arts installation image by Mark Ashkanasy, RMIT Gallery, 2016.

Join  us on Thursday 8 December from 5.30-6.30pm  at RMIT Gallery when Sean Redmond co-curator of Morbis Artis: Diseases of the Arts discusses science, the arts and disease with Alison Bennett, Drew Berry, and Lienors Torre. And there will be poetry as well as pondering.

In his review on the exhibition for The Article, Sam Leach commented “The works provide scope for a poetic and elliptical understanding of the interactions between humans and non-humans and the ideas of connection and contamination.”


Lienors Torre’s multi-media and glass work on degenerative vision explores how our view of the world is metered and tainted by digital technologies. Consisting of a large glass eyeball, Ipad and augmented application, and a glass cabinet full of glass jars filled with water in varying degrees of opacity and with engraved eye images on them, eyes quickly become raindrops, as the liquidity of vision is brought to watery life. There are tears and scars that reflect across the eyes of this exquisite art-piece.

Alison Bennett’s touch-based screen work presents the viewer with a high-resolution scan of bruised skin. Invited to touch the soft and damaged tissue before them, their eyes become organs of touch, and their fingers work as sensory digits that feel as they move over what becomes a damaged but delicate bio-art surface.

In Drew Berry’s work, infectious cells are set free onto walls so that the very connective tissue of the exhibition room teems with the droplets of life and death. Herpes, influenza, HIV, polio and smallpox bacteria take flight, are magnified, so that those entering the space are hit by scale and size, and take part in this chorea of the senses.

Invasion of the Ants (2016), three screen installation by Joshua Redmond and Sean Redmond, Morbis Artis: Diseases of the Arts. Installation image by Mark Ashkanasy, 2016, RMIT Gallery.

In Sean and Josh Redmond’s three-screen video installation, ants become a different type of political disease. Combining found and actuality footage, the work uses the metaphors of ant invasion to re-envision the current refugee crisis and the way stateless people are made to be matter-out-of place. The central image of the piece, a flimsy toy dinghy floating on the salty water, recalls Australia’s turn back the boat policy, and the haunting truth that it is children who are made to suffer most. This is a disease of political undertaking.

What: Morbis Artis – panel discussion with Sean Redmond, Alison Bennett, Drew Berry and Lienors Torre.

When: Thursday 8 December 5.30-6.30 pm

Where: RMIT Gallery, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne.

 Freeplease register.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s