Off the Shelf
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Open heart


Artwork for submission

This work is about vulnerability and the feeling of being vulnerable. There is a special exposure to vulnerability for everyone who is taking part in healthcare systems, be it of course as a patient who potentially suffers restrictions in their physical and/or psychic integrity trough illness or also the caregivers who are under pressure to be attentive, know the right things, act and speak properly all the time. But in general, everyone comes into the world and the machinery of society and institutions as an individuum with totally different preconditions. Thereby everyone shows different kinds of vulnerability, some more, some less. If present, these vulnerabilities often get de-emphasised by others or hidden by ourselves. However, some of them may be visible for our counterpart at first sight. But a lot of vulnerabilities are invisible for others and nevertheless burdensome for oneself. As a student very interested in dissection, I chose the exposed heart painted directly on the skin of my model to point to these invisible vulnerabilities and make their existence visible in the crude language of anatomy.

[Technique: acrylic paint on skin]
Anna Boehler Anna Boehler (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Medical University of Vienna


Anna is a fifth year medical student at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria. In 2018 she also graduated from the University of Vienna with a Master in history and art. She enjoys sports, painting and reading works of philosophy in her free time. After graduating medical school in the future, Anna would like to pursue a career in general medicine.