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Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME) Center for Medical Humanities

Johannes Willi

J willi

Basel based artist Johannes Willi (*1983) earned a Bachelor in Style & Design at Zurich University of the Arts and a Master in Fine Arts at the Academy of Art and Design in Basel. He has worked with performance, installation, sculpture, live events, and the printed page. His work explores hidden stories, formal affinities and secret connections between events, and prompts people to consider and see things differently. Johannes Willi regularly teaches for the MA degree programme of Trends & Identity at ZHdK.

Since April 2019 the artist is exchanging with researchers of the Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME) and with researchers, doctors and patients of the Centre for Pain Medicine Nottwil in the transdisciplinary framework of the artists-in-labs residency “Das Unsichtbare erfahrbar machen – Schmerzpatient_innen und ihre Erzählungen”.

During this 6-months-long transdisciplinary process he explores ethical, philosophical and medical questions on chronic pain and the digitalization of diagnosis and treatment. With his project he intends to find diverse forms of artistic expression and translations and to open up new perspectives.

Johannes Willi is interested in people, their professions and how they are organized. With the aim of exploring the research process from an artistic perspective, he built a greenhouse at the library of the IBME, where he conducts a series of talks and accumulates notes and objects related to them. His aim is to show something that does not fit into the logic of the institution.
He perceives the role of the outsider in his new environment as a source of inspiration and as a moment of empowerment. 

The residency is designed, curated and organised by the artists-in-labs program AIL of Zurich University of the Arts. Since 2003 it explores discourses between art and science in Switzerland and worldwide. Besides conducting the residencies, the AIL reaches out to a broad public through exhibitions, performances, presentations, conferences, publications and short documentary films.

Johannes WIllis stay at IBME was supported by the Stanley Thomas Johnson Stiftung.


Johnson Stiftung