Pakui Hardware at BALTIC in Gateshead

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor
Pakui Hardware at BALTIC in Gateshead
Pakui Hardware, Underbelly, 2019. Installation view at MdbK Leipzig, Germany. Photo: Ugnius Gelguda. Courtesy the artist

Pakui Hardware at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle 6 January — 18 April 2021 Entrance is free — Visit now

Visitors entering BALTIC’s level 2 gallery space this winter are likely to encounter a not too fanciful glimpse of what the future of healthcare may look like. One of the most noticeable details? The absence of doctors, nurses, or any other people. As the steady march of digitisation continues to sweep through all areas of society, medicine is one frontier that has already undergone dramatic change and is on the cusp of further, complete transformation.

The immersive installation created by Lithuanian artist duo Pakui Hardware (Neringa Cerniauskaite and Ugnius Gelguda) will resemble a clinical surgery room, in which the physical process of medical intervention is administrated solely by robotic and virtual care technology. Constructed using a variety of materials and sculptural components, the work is designed to evoke an ambivalent emotional response in audiences, contrasting elements that engineer feelings of warmth and care with a sense of alienating coolness.

The idea of further digitation within healthcare deeply concerns many, for reasons including its dehumanising potential, and questions around health data gathering and exploitation. Yet, others argue that it poses a possible positive solution to the problems of access affecting poor, remote or marginalised groups of people. Is this a potential answer to the lack of provision, or simply a further abandonment of some of the most vulnerable in our society by the system?

Rather than adopting a singular position, the artists – who have engaged with issues around contemporary medicine, the quantification of health, and the relationship between bodies, technology and the economy throughout their work over the last few years – aim to offer a more nuanced provocation.

At a point when health, care, and the importance of human touch is at the forefront of many people’s minds, Pakui Hardware’s first solo exhibition in the UK has a particularly timely feel. As infrastructures become even more overwhelmed, could the vision presented within the show signal a bright new future or a more troubling sign of what’s to come?

Pakui Hardware at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle 6 January — 18 April 2021 Entrance is free Visit now

Where to go near Pakui Hardware at BALTIC in Gateshead

Trakol
Newcastle
Restaurant
Trakol

On the Gateshead quayside, underneath the Tyne bridge is one of the best locations to go for a meal in Newcastle and Gateshead. In what was once derelict land on the quayside, now exists a fantastic shipping container village of purposely rusted shipping containers.

Shipley Art Gallery
Newcastle
Gallery
Shipley Art Gallery

The Shipley Art Gallery can be found on Prince Consort Road (named after Queen Victoria’s Husband – Prince Albert) and was created in 1917 after Joseph Shipley, a local solicitor, bestowed his collection of 504 paintings to create a gallery for local people.

CBK Adventures
Newcastle
Tourist Attraction
CBK Adventures

CBK Adventures deliver award-winning coastal activities including guided tours and lessons in kayaking and paddle boarding.

Quayside
Newcastle
Tourist Attraction
Quayside

The Quayside of Newcastle (and its sister town of Gateshead) is a hugely popular location in the city, featuring seven bridges spanning the impressive river, linking Newcastle to Gateshead and providing scope for many walks and tourist attraction.

Live Theatre
Newcastle
Theatre
Live Theatre

The Live Theatre has a fantastic reputation for developing, writing and producing new plays and shows every year. The Live Theatre started in 1973. It was at first a traveling theatre company, which started by telling stories that were relatable to daily life in the North East of England and presented these plays to local people – which it has continued to do to this day.

The Side Gallery
Newcastle
Gallery
The Side Gallery

The Side Gallery can be found on a small medieval street down by Newcastle’s Quayside. The Gallery itself is inside of an old warehouse, which by itself is a fantastic building to explore. Once you have entered the gallery, you are walking into one of the most important collections of film and photography in the British Isles.

Newcastle Castle
Newcastle
Tourist Attraction
Newcastle Castle

Discover the castle that gave Newcastle its name, taking in a 12th-century fortress that has been added to over the centuries.

Boiler Shop
Newcastle
Event venue
Boiler Shop

A Grade II* Listed former locomotive works from the 1820’s, now and events space hosting some of Newcastle’s most exciting event; from live performances, club nights and exhibitions, to food and drink festivals.

The Literary and Philosophical Society
Newcastle
Library
The Literary and Philosophical Society

A stone’s throw from Newcastle’s Central Station, and around the corner from Newcastle’s Castle, is The Lit and Phil. Only a few years younger than Manchester’s, The Lit and Phil is the second oldest literary and philosophical society in the United Kingdom.

Gateshead
Park
Saltwell Park

Nestled in the heart of Gateshead, the beautiful, historical grounds of Saltwell Park are a perfect place to spend the day.

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