Images Crisis Care

March/April 2020

Bansky, Bristol, February 14, 2020

On March 26, members of a non-governmental organization painted icons of the Coronavirus on the walls of a destroyed building in Idlib, Syria, in order to warn the population against the danger. The graffiti painters represented the virus with its notorious spikes, angry eyes and vampire teeth, or simply in a bad mood. / NZZ, March 28, 2020, Photo: Moawia Atrash, Imago

In this floor mosaic, Asclepius, the Greco-Roman god of healing and medicine, is landing at the shores of Kos. Modeled after sculptural representations, he is distinguished by his rod with the looping serpent. To the left, Hippocrates, head of the medical school of Kos, is waiting for the god‘s arrival. The Roman mosaic testifies to a lasting veneration and engagement with the cult and the medical school of Kos across the Mediterranean, with a mobile god of healing coming from abroad. / Mosaic, 2nd-3rd century, Kos, Archeological Museum

The Susruta-Samhita or Sahottara-Tantra. A Treatise on Ayurvedic Medicine / Nepal, Text: 12th-13th century; Images: 18th-19th century, ink and opaque watercolor on palm leaf, each page: 1 1/2 x 20 in (3.8 x 50.8 cm). Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), M.87.271a-g

The sick king Abgar sends his courier Anania, c. 1370, Mandylion. Genoa, San Bartolomeo degli Armeni

Antonio Verico, The plague in Florence 1348, colored engraving, c. 1800. Florence, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz

Parable of the rich man and the leper Lazarus, 1174/1189. Monreale, Cloister of the Cathedral Santa Maria Nuova

Tito Sarrocchi, The Gravedigger Tobias, 1873. Siena, Cimitero della Misericordia

The Death, 1828/1877. Florence, Cimitero degli Inglesi

Facial recognition technology in public spaces, artificial intelligence, screenshot / Health, movement, technology: how does the sanitary need for social distancing cope with our conception of community, society and freedom? While this politics of emergency, security and surveillance might still show a “human face” in liberal democratic countries, this systemic need for control could dramatically (and violently) impact other governmental forms.

Spanish police using drones to keep people inside during coronavirus lockdown (video), 2020, screenshot, Policia Municipal de Madrid

Operating room instead of 'Oktoberfest'? Munich architects' design for a temporary emergency hospital at the Theresienwiese (Munich), the location of the famous mass event 'Oktoberfest'. Photo: Nickl & Partner, Süddeutsche Zeitung, April 2, 2020

Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, Chinese central province of Hubei, Photograph from March 2020 / What should the ideal hospital architecture look like? Since antiquity, this question has been at the heart of many architectonic and ethical treatises. Even if emergency situations require prompt and flexible architectural solutions, still today there are intense discussions about the extent to which the natural surrounding and built architecture influence the physical and psychic well-being of patients, and thus significantly contribute to healing.

Hospital Ship Comfort arrives in New York, March 30, 2020 (USNI News, April 2, 2020)

This 13th-century page from a Greek manuscript was written in Calabria, Southern Italy. It displays a visual and linguistic re-elaboration and appropriation of the Hippocratic Oath, transposing it into the form of a cross. Albeit with significant changes, the text, in its antique and Christian versions, offers ethical guidelines for physicians: their obligation not to harm, but to heal the patient. First redactions of the text date back to the 4th century BCE, and are to be situated in the context of the medical school of Hippocrates of Kos. In the 15th century, the manuscript was part of the Library of Federico da Montefeltro in Urbino. From there it was used as a basis for early modern printed editions of the oath. / Manuscript, ink on parchment, Vaticanus, Urbinas Graec. 64

The marble sculpture of Asclepius on display at Palazzo Pitti presents the god of medicine as a thinker and philosopher. With his right hand on his hip, his head is resting on the fist of his left hand, as if caught in a moment of concentrated thought, in an otherwise relaxed elderly male body. The cult of the god and its iconographic expressions are the result of a centuries-long process of cultural transformations and appropriations, of political and religious strategies, conflicts and anxieties, that came together with the dissemination of medical knowledge or, in fact, medical techniques ('technae'). The sculpture in the Uffizi collection is a copy of an earlier (lost) prototype by the sculptor Nikeratos. It was prominently displayed and venerated at the Temple of Concordia in Rome on the Forum and was therefore widely known. There, it was paired with a figure of Hygeia, the god‘s daughter, feeding a snake. This might explain the absence of the snake in Nikeratos figuration of the god. / mid-2nd century, restoration in the 18th century, marble. Florence, Galleria delle Statue, Palazzo Pitti, OdA 1911, 669

The map of the Lazzaretto di San Rocco in Livorno represents early modern architectures of segregation. Whereas the map was drawn around 1800, and was brought to Bohemia by the former Archduke of Tuscany Pietro Leopoldo II, the represented structure itself was built much earlier. The hospital of San Rocco was constructed in 1590, within an area separated from the city by a system of water channels. It was one of three elaborate structures to organize and spatially structure quarantine in Livorno. Measures for quarantine were particularly strict in Livorno, and led to specific forms of bureaucratic organization as well as to the establishment of a permanent administrative institution, the Ufficio di Sanità. / c. 1780-1820, ink and watercolor on paper, 71 x 64 cm. Prag, Narodni Archive (see also Archivio della Regione Toscana)

Bimaristan Nur al-Din (Damascus). Hospital, 12th/13th century

Filarete's Project for the Ospedale Maggiore in Milan, 1440-1469

Hospital Santa Maria della Scala in Siena, Pellegrinaio, wall painting of Domenico di Bartolo, 1440/44: Healing the Sick

THX 1138 (film), director: George Lucas, USA, 1970, screenshot (scene with the protagonist THX 1138 and a confession booth OMM 0000) / The depicted images show different manifestations of care. They invite us to reflect on the necessities and limits of this concept, and its ethical implications: This might be the altruistic care for patients in a hospital, the ascetic ideal of the cura sui or the dystopic motive of "totalitarian" care, enforced through permanent observation and imposed medication, that questions free will.

Illumination, 'Caring for patient', the Cantigas de Santa Maria, Alfonso X the Wise, manuscript, Spain, 13th century, Monasterio De El Escorial (Biblioteca)

Thebais (detail), Cloister (Chiostro dei beati), Eremo di San Salvatore a Lecceto (SI), 1443

Vilhelm Hammershøi, Sunbeams or Sunshine. Dust Motes Dancing in the Sunbeams, 1900, oil on canvas, 70 x 59 cm, Ordrupgaard Museum / How porous are the boundaries between the internal and the external, the private and the public? And how endangered is the balance between solitude and belonging, withdrawal from and participation in society? Currently, the sanitary need for social distancing forces us to reflect upon these issues, and to reconsider our concepts of individuality, community and personal freedom.

Edward Hopper, Cape Cod Morning, 1950, oil on canvas, 86,7 x 102,3 cm. Washington D.C., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation

Dervish sitting under a tree in spiritual self-isolation, 1630 (Shah Jahan), Watercolor on Paper, British Museum, Inv. 1949. 0212,5.0

قانون في ألطب (Canon of Medicine) from Ibn Sina (Avicenna, d. 428/1037). The manuscript, 1006 H./1597-1598 CE, Medical Historical Library at Yale, Arabic ms. 5

Online Visualisation of Global Spread of Covid-19, Johns Hopkins University

Infographic of the impact of Covid-19 on air traffic on March 31, 2020 (and in comparison with 2019), screenshot

Piazza Navona, March 2020

Pope Francis I walks along the Corso to San Marcello, to venerate the miraculous crucifix that in 1552 was carried in a procession to stop the great plague (Sunday, March 15, 2020)

"Urbi et orbi", Piazza di San Pietro with the crucifix of San Marcello, March 27, 2020

The miraculous crucifix of San Marcello, Rome, transported to the Vatican for the "urbi et orbi" blessing

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, April 6, 2020

From the website of Ospedale Koelliker, Turin

Franco Rivoli, Dai Italia! Angels, realized for the Associazione Nazionale Carabinieri of Chiaravalle Centrale

Alonzo Earl Foringer, poster for the American Red Cross, 1917

Marcello Dudovich, poster for the Italian Red Cross, c. 1935

Virtual G20, March 26, 2020

Moon Jae-in participating in G20

Giuseppe Conte in video conference, March 26, 2020

Mass Exodus of migrant workers from New Delhi, India (Yawar Nazir, Getty Images), March 27, 2020

Galenus: Galeni opera varia (Dresden Galen manuscript), Flemish, 1450. Dresden, Sächsische Landesbibliothek – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, sig.: Mscr.Dresd.Db.93 / Ancient codices were precious guardians of wisdom for centuries; the circulation of medical treatises and herbals make it evident that the importance of exchange of information and knowledge has always been existential. Yet the access to medical knowledge could be used also as an instrument of power and domination. Today the WHO provides access to crucial data for researching viruses and attempts to democratically share important facts in a globalized world via the internet.

Illustrated Herbs, Ortus sanitatis, Jacob Meydenbach, Mainz 1491. München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 2 Inc.c.a. 2576, fol 42r

A group of physicians depicting Galen, Dioscorides, Nicander, Rufus, Andres, Apollonius, Crateuas, Vienna Dioscurides, Vienna med. gr. 1, fol. 3v

Illumination, 'Fathers of Medicine' (Asclepius, Hippocrates, Avicenna, Rhazes, Aristotle, Galen, Macer), manuscript by Giovanni Cadamosto, Libro de componere herbe et fructi, c. 1471. Paris, BnF, ms. Italien 1108, fol. 7v

Train conductors in New York, like many residents at the time, wore masks for protection against the Spanish Flu (1918)

The nurse-photographer: "Documento la nostra eccezionalità quotidiana" (La Repubblica, April 3, 2020)

You can be certain Art Basel Hospital won’t be cancelled. Courtesy of Kenny Schachter

"Mobile World Virus" street-artist TV Boy, Barcelona. Photo quoted from DPA

Selected by Valerio Aparo, Hannah Baader, Costanza Caraffa, Ute Dercks, Hana Gründler, Franziska Lampe, Rafael Brundo Uriarte, Jan Simane, Tim Urban, Gerhard Wolf


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