Les Fleurs de la Maladie: Art installation from recycled COVID-19 Tests

The installation provokes a personal and emotional engagement with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic

Subset introduced its Les Fleurs de la Maladie art installation, winner of the Jury Prize at the 17th Festival des Architectures Vives in Montpellier, France.

As an interpretation of the festival theme of ‘Sacrality’, Hannah Fuchsenberger, Anne-Fleur Ising, Atidh Jonas Langbein, Gianna Neumann, and Helio Philipp Spiess conceived an installation that provokes a personal and emotional engagement with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic through an aesthetic experience. Like white flowers, 1,482 COVID-19 test cassettes float above a blue platform. Les Fleurs de la Maladie – Flowers of the Disease – asks what value we attribute to our own and public health in general. The installation was constructed mainly from scrap material in a representative courtyard in Montepellier’s historic centre. Twelve Eiermann table tops, which would have been discarded at the Bauhaus University Weimar due to heavy wear and tear, were manually sanded, repainted, and screwed onto a substructure of wooden slats in the courtyard. 1,482 corona tests were applied to the panels on 1mm metal rods in a clear geometric grid. They were donated by a school in Munich that had purchased them for testing pupils, but they expired before their planned use and would have been subsequently disposed.

By redesigning and reusing the materials, the installation ‘Les Fleurs de la Maladie’ thematizes  environmentally conscious and sustainable approaches in the arts, while opening up this kind of space for wide-ranging interpretations and to encourage viewers to reflect on the value of health in our society. The flowers further invited visitors to share their personal memories and experiences of the pandemic.

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