“Cough, Cough” was a collaborative installation created by Melissa Tamporello and Mary Grace Bernard.
It was first created and displayed for an art event in May 2014. The idea stemmed from Mary Grace’s illness, cystic fibrosis, and the abundance of medical supplies that comes with sickness. The installation creates an environment for viewers to experience. The viewer is isolated when he or she steps between the plastic sheeting, exposed to bright lighting, and a chair that the viewer feels obligated to sit in. When the viewer sits in the chair they put on headphones and hear an array of discomforting sounds that emulate being sick in the hospital.
Cough, Cough is meant to evoke ideas and emotions that help the viewer understand what it is like to be forced to spend prolonged periods of time in a hospital. As a patient, you must relinquish any power you have and put your life in the hands of others. After so many times you become numb to the experience because giving up your strength is better than giving up your life.
Video: Michael Winters