‘Placebo’ and ‘Nocebo’, a nominal diptych, looks at the affect a painting might make on a viewer. Showing a traditional lovers’ scene, two people holding hands, ‘Placebo’ comments on the ability of a piece of art to create a scene in the mind, a placebo and distraction. The viewer might place themselves in the character of one of the two players in the paintings, effaced and thus anonymised as they are. ‘Nocebo’ rejects this assessment, reminding the viewer that whilst two people might be kissing, neither of them are you. Despite the fiction of the painting, the artwork nevertheless imposes a sense of isolation onto the viewer, a ‘nocebo’ – ‘I will harm’.
Oil on Canvas