A Stranger Held My Heartbeat

I love collaborations – the more different the contributors are, the more their shared product surprises me and opens my mind.

The Weisman has an exhibit on display called Walk Back To Your Body, a collaboration between healthcare researchers and artists. I loved the concept so much I did the unprecedented – abandoned my kids on a weeknight to go to the opening presentations last week.

And there, a stranger did hold my heartbeat.

I was able to lie in The Daydream Chapel, also with a total stranger. I guess we adults need a fancy art gallery to give us permission to return to the simple forts of our playful youth.

But my absolute favorite was the work of psychiatrist Dr. Kathryn Cullen and poet Yuko Taniguchi. As the placard below from the exhibit indicates, adolescents struggling with behavior disorders learned to find a powerful identity as an artist rather than a person with a diagnosis. I missed their talk that night, but Taniguchi has a different one here that is worth a watch.

I could only stay for the start of the presentations, but was deeply moved by what I did hear. Dr. Jakub Toler, Dean of the University of Minnesota School of Medicine is also a bone marrow transplant surgeon. He talked about how art teaches us how to work with humanity. He said he learned 5% of the skills he uses in his work life from medical school – that he learned more from David Hopper about how to work with human beings as they suffer.

Another gem from the evening that lingers with me is from the curator, Boris Oicherman. He defined collaboration as the labor intensive work of different people finding a shared meaning.

I cannot tell if this exhibit is otherwise available, but I highly recommend if it if you have the chance.

Author:

Writer, comedian, producer, mother, thinker, preoccupationist, Minneassippian.

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