ONLINE COMMISSION: Leah Clements 'Beside'

A special online commission for Chisenhale Gallery’s website produced by Leah Clements as part of our 21st Century programme.  

Beside is a work addressing the idea of the self-other boundary through the scientific phenomena of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy and quantum entanglement. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy or 'broken heart syndrome' is a medical condition in which intense emotional or physical stress – most commonly bereavement – can lead to rapid and severe heart muscle weakness, causing the heart’s left ventricle to change shape. Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon that occurs at molecular level, where two spatially separate particles form a special connection and act and react in unison.   

Clements is interested in the phenomena of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy and quantum entanglement as situations in which the self-other boundary becomes physically blurred: when two individual particles act as one, or when the emotional experience of losing someone close to you is manifested physically.

This online commission accompanies a live event that took place on 8 December 2015, when Clements was in conversation with two specialists, Sian Harding and Simone Severini, who met for the first time to discuss potential correlations between these two very different subjects. Harding is Professor of Cardiac Pharmacology at the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College, London and is currently carrying out research on Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Severini is Reader in Physics of Information at University College London, and is currently researching the potential for communication in quantum entanglement.  

For her online commission, Clements brings together scientific and medical material, including scans and digital imaging used to visualise Takotsubo cardiomyopathy and quantum entanglement, and notes from conversations conducted as part of her research. This material is combined with audio recordings made during a psychological and neurological exercise, designed to test self-other boundaries, which Clements conducted in private with audience members selected from the live event.  

Chisenhale Gallery’s 21st Century programme 2015-16 is supported by
Marie and Joe Donnelly.  

With a special thanks to: Dr. Michael Banissey, Olivier Castel, Cristina Cioffi, Isabel Denny, Mike Ditchburn, Rose de Lara, Prof. Sian Harding, Zoe Large, Molly Richards, Anna Sebastian, Santa Sabule and Dr. Simone Severini.

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