10 de novembro de 2011

Ken Currie - Three Oncologists

Three Oncologists - 2002
Scottish National Portarit Gallery - Edinburgh - U.K.

I've became fascinated with yesterday's news regarding astonishing advances in cancer therapy. Portugal is going to receive, through the Champalimaud Foundation, an unique equipment which represents a major steap on radio therapy treatments. In a short 10m session it will be possible to atomize localized cancer cells avoiding the unconfortable symptons arised by countinuous therapy sessions. The news reminded me the contemporanious painting "Three Oncologists" from the Scottish painter Ken Currie (b. 1960).
Currie's paintings are primarily concerned with how the human body is affected by illness, ageing and physical injury. Closely related to these themes, his work also deals with social and political issues and philosophical questions. Although many of the images dealing with, for example, metaphysical questions do not feature figures, a human presence is nevertheless suggested.

In this painting, Currie paints an idelible image that articulates the fear people feel when contemplating the reality and myths of cancer, a desease highly stigmatized in Western society. As well as pain, cancer patients often suffer shame, thinking they might have contributed to their disease. In "Three Oncologists", Currie - an artist who brillantly explores the emotional ramifications of sickness and the notion of diseases as metaphors for social, political, and personal states - represents the almost spiritual pressure placed on oncologists as putative dispensers of healing in the face of disease. And yet, Currie gives this living matter a surreal, otherworldly quality, imbuing it with a ghostly blue aura that removes the paintings from the realm of mere reproduction.

The three men depicted in this unnerving painting are professors in the Department of Surgery and Molecular Oncology at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School in Dundee, Scotland. Sir Alfred Cuschieri, The Head of the Department and Professor of Surgery, is situated at the center with Sir David Lane, Professor of Molecular Oncology, on his right and surgeon Professor R. J. Steele at his left. Throug his luminous use of paint - the men surrounded by omnious darkness and posed as if interrupted in mid-operation - Currie casts the figures as spectral figures hovering over the division between life and death.

All three wear intelligent, sensative expressions, yet Professor Steele holds his blodstainess hands away from his body and Sir Alfred Cuschieri holds away from his body and Sir Alfred Cuschieri holds a mysterious medical implement, summoning up the confusion, fear, and concern felt by the subjects of their struggles when confronted with the perils and realities of medicine.
Source: Wikipedia, Ana Finel Honigman, net

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