Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hospital art

So Thursday I went to the emergency room of St Alexius Hospital. I walked there from the main hospital entrance on Broadway. And this involves going along a hallway which has a series of roughly carved wooden panels with figures on them, people holding and touching other people. I thought at first that they were stations of the cross. They looked a lot like examples of "contemporary" stations I've seen. But they were not: each one represented the ways in which over the history of humanity people have helped people to resume breathing. One should a man holding another man upside down, another showed a man rolling another over a barrel so that the barrel would put pressure on the chest and force him to breathe out, another showed a man stepping down on the patient's chest and so on. Each one had a brief description of the procedure depicted and its technique and purpose. It was a surprising display, donated by some patron of the hospital. One of many interesting diversions in a busy day.

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