Project Proposal 2017-47: "The Cost of Health"
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Artist: Avis Doyle

Title: The Cost of Health

Material Requirements:

  • Paints consisted of Avis Doyle's vomit (already possessed)
  • 10 sheets of blank canvas, 41.0×31.5cm
  • Two kit of watercolor utensils
  • Feedback box and several pen
  • Feedback sheets, approx. 3000 (may adjust the amount according to visitors on the day)
  • A 17-inch LCD screen (already possessed)
  • Avis Doyle, who has been through medication and psychological consult for over 1 year (already possessed)

Abstract: When the exhibition is open, I will randomly choose a visitor who is interested in creating artworks and lead the person to a preparation room that other visitors cannot enter. What visitor uses to paint will be a special paint including vomits of me, Avis Doyle. When the visitor starts creating, I will also create my artwork with the same size of canvas, but I will use ordinary paint without anomaly.

When the visitor and I both finish the artworks, these two work will be set in the exhibition zone. Two feedback boxes and feedback sheets will be placed in front of two paintings. The authors of these works are not shown, and the artworks are only designated with "A" and "B" for audience to vote. Audience in the exhibition can freely take these feedback sheets and make a preference; these sheets are totally anonymous, so audience can vote and comment at free will.

Since the special paints used in this exhibition are no longer in stock and cannot be re-produced anymore, the invitation of the random visitor will only be performed 5 days before the display. During the last few days of the exhibition, I will show all paintings of 5 previous days and note "my work" and "visitor's work". The result of vote ratio and comments will be shown in a LCD screen.

Intent: We often hear someone saying: "Artists have mental issues more or less."

Unfortunately, this sentence might be true, at least I and artists around me can prove the point. But that is also our unusual sensation to the world and the way of expression different from ordinary people, makes us artists, or even, "anartists".

Then, can the works of an artist continue to provoke resonance of people after the artist becomes "healthy"?

Since I was a child, I am more likely to notice the changes in the environment and emotions of others than my fellows. When the environment changes or my mood fluctuates too much, I start to vomit. When my family saw me vomiting, they would come over anxiously and comfort me, empathizing with me, helping me clean up the mess. But after I started school, I realized that not everyone who vomit will be comforted by others; people will not shed a tear of sadness merely because a person has nausea, let alone trying to help cleaning the aftermath. I realized that my vomit has a certain ability to arouse other people's emotion.

Also, this effect doesn't just activate when I do vomit. When I'm feeling nauseous, I will try to suppress the urge and start painting. I don't even have any ideal at all; I create things just to prevent myself from vomiting. But these works made the viewers feel the same stress of me, so strong that they shed tears as well. When I suppress the urge to vomit, the mysterious ability of the vomit originally acting on me will be transferred to my work.

My works has received many good reputation due to its ability to bring magnificent emotional impacts.

But one day, an idea struck into my mind, then I made a set of paints mixed with my vomit. I gave these paints to one of my friend whose works have never been favored anywhere. My friend's work made with paints of my vomit caused a sensation, and it is currently hanging in the living room of a billionaire. He then never creates again.

What do people favor? It is my creation, or is to experience other's suffering?

Is being healthy a kind of curse to an artist? Such a thought inspired me. As a result, I started planning this exhibition more than a year ago - my esophagus has been severely damaged by repeatedly vomiting, so I must seek professional assistance. Before starting my treatment, I stored some of my vomit and made several sets of paints mixed with my vomit for preservation.

Now, I no longer feel nauseous out of a sudden. I'm becoming "healthy", but my reputation in the art community is sloping. Critics indicate that those strong emotions in my artworks are gradually disappearing.

I have been entangled for these reputation for times. Should I continue my treatment? Or should I continue to be a "mentally compromised artist" in public perception, and continue to paint in nausea? But then, I remembered that the reason that drove me to create is to relieve my stress and to relieve all emotions I perceive but never belong to me. I don't create works merely to be an "emotion-control superstar" in the world of art.

According to my prediction, the audience will prefer the artwork of special paints, created by an anonymous visitor. This is not a result I'd like to see, but it doesn't matter to me anymore.

I will adapt to the enormous stress this world puts on me, slowly but steady. I will gradually become a "healthy person". One day, I will no longer vomit due to stress.

I will retire if this project gets permitted.

This is the price of being healthy, but I will bear this with no complaint.


The Cost of Health: The True Myself, Avis Doyle, 2017. (partial content from the video)

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