Video, monitor, UV print, cot, sheets, spitting cup
Exercising Consumption reimagines a photographic diagram for breathing, taken from the Paimio Sanatorium in Finland.
Unique techniques to assist breathing were implemented during epidemic outbreaks of tuberculosis (TB) in the early 20th century. Paimio Sanatorium was designed by Arvo Aalto to bridge interior and exterior spaces. Furniture was modeled specifically to provide comfort for a patient’s wearisome stay. In the effort to rehabilitate, patients were instructed to perform a number of breathing exercises. As active exercise was out of the question, a series of horizontal holding positions were developed to help drain the lungs.
The photographic diagram details 12 positions in total that the patients would rotate between in the effort to breath. Two images (11-12) detail resting positions post surgery.
Implementing the basic set present in the diagram (bed, blocks, spitting cup), I performed each of the holding positions as the patient would exercise them. This apparent stillness in position mirrors respiration; time slows down to focus on breath-as-action. This pause of the body is the pause of the self. We hold our breath before the lens- to be captured, documented, illustrated, remembered.