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‘Pain, my pain’. An art installation/performance by art-dialog

Bruno Kissling, Esther Quarroz


The artists of art-dialog with their professional backgrounds as a family doctor and an art therapist foster the dialogue between art and medical science. From their aesthetically driven improvised art installations / performances arise answers, which are equivalent to the cognitively driven findings of science. The dialogue between them leads to deeper insights.

With their art installation / art performance ‘pain, my pain’ art-dialog addressed the inconceivable, medically not measurable, sides of pain. In the dialogue with visitors the installation appeared as a metaphor for the unutterable part of pain experiences. It gave space to new associations and acted as a catalyst for very personal stories. Finally, the artists compressed the room-filling wiry installation into a ‘pain carpet’, which symbolically retains all thoughts and stories collected during the performance.

The performance was open to visitors non-stop for 48 hours - day and night. In analogy to the pain experience the artists pushed themselves to their physical and psychological limits.

‘Pain, my pain’ took place concurrently with the 3rd International Systems and Complexity Science for Healthcare Conference in Washington DC, USA. The originally planned virtual dialogue by Zoom© was not possible due to logistic reasons.


Art-dialog, complexity, coping, emotions, experience of pain, human existence, pain, person-centered healthcare, phenomenology, photography, quality of life

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