Site-specific exhibitions with reknowned artists are very popular right now. Recently artists including Nan Goldin and Wolfgang Tillmans showed in a prison in homage to Oscar Wilde. And “Human Condition” which opened last week is another example of a show in which the location and theme are interlinked. In a rare opportunity to view art outside a typical art space, eighty artists will display work in a former hospital in West Adams, Los Angeles.
After years of neglect, the space (previously known as the Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center) is now host to much of the city’s cherished architectural heritage and landmarks and is a hub for working artists. Small assets that were abandoned in the hospital upon closure remain in the building, with clocks and charts accompanying the artworks on the walls.
Curated by LA-based art advisor, John Wolf, the entirety of the 40,000 square foot hospital is being used. The idea behind “Human Condition” is to to re-contextualize the hospital’s functional history by inviting artists to “to explore the corporal and psychological experience of being human”. Various mediums including sculpture, drawing, painting, performance, and installation has been incorporated into surgical rooms, maternity wards, a psychiatric floor, and the cafeteria.
Artists like Jenny Holzer and Gregory Crewdson have taken over full rooms, and Polly Borland’s “Babies” series is installed in the pediatric ward. Sculptural work by the likes of Daniel Arsham hang in the surgery room, accompanied by Matthew Day Jackson’s skulls. A repurposed waiting room displays furniture from the Haas Brothers and Jeff Zimmerman. Established names Marilyn Minter, Marlene Dumas, and Robert Mapplethorpe are also exploring the human figure at this show.
“Human Condition” runs until 30 November, at 2231 S Western Ave every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday