In our current moment we are hyper aware of sickness, looking for signs of it everywhere while exercising caution by staying home away from others. Amiko Li considers our relationship to disease and how we treat it both medically and socially. In Li’s video Playing Sick the actors aim to convincingly perform what they interpret illness to look like externally. Viewing a performance of sickness and pain becomes far different than looking over someone who is ill or inhabiting those symptoms ourselves when fallen ill. Li also considers our evolutionary trajectory, in how we humans have a smaller spectrum of visible color compared to birds and other mammals. A question arises: how far has evolution carried us and have there been missteps along the way?
— Emily Llamazales
Amiko Li’s The Purpose of Disease is on view online through April 17 at the Dodd Galleries online exhibition page.
In this essay republished from last year, Jasmine Amussen considers the work of Native artist Hock E Aye VI, or Edgar Heap of Birds, and the annual National Day of Mourning on the fourth Thursday in November.
We are revisiting this feature from Laws of Salvage: The 2020 Burnaway Reader. Monica Uszerowicz explores the Florida Everglades with artist and activist Reverend Houston Cypress and filmmaker Sasha Wortzel.
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