Through physicians, Van Laere has a number of such ingenious surgical instruments on loan. Following intensive trainings, he is experimenting with the instruments in a test setup in his studio. Dissecting delicate objects like flower petals or wafer-thin Japanese newsprint is an intimate and fragile process in which, in addition to vulnerability, there is also beauty concealed within. The instruments not only extend the reach of your arm and fingers, but also invite you to see and work on a smaller scale. They appear to be tiny machine movements, but are in fact a result of organic movements of fingers, hand and wrist.
In the hospital, doctors use the instruments for, among other things, internal cutting and the precise placement of stitches. In conversation with surgeons, Van Laere discovered that there are many challenges involved in working with these instruments. During operations, internal cameras show their actions live on large screens. Working ‘blind’ and thereby estimating depth and texture is difficult. And as a patient, you’re completely at the mercy to the skills of your surgeon. This ‘surrender’ of the patient in combination with the haptic feedback that the surgeon receives through his hands and visual feedback on the screen is intriguing.
With his artistic practice as a starting point, van Laere wants to work with these elements. He fantasises about an arrangement in which several laparoscopic arms attack a classical still life or, on the contrary, bring a small fragile object to life.
Partners: Open Space [reach] is a co-production of The Grey Space in the Middle and Stichting Largo and is made possible by the City of The Hague, Stroom Den Haag, Mondriaan Fonds, Amarte Fonds, the In Art We Trust Fund (by We Are Public) and Laparoscopyboxx (a brand of Outside the Boxx).