There really is no way to sit. To *settle.* Chafing Rooms evokes the cultural conception of wellness, how we perform as patients, and how spaces intended to seem innocuous can harbor ideology. The threads that tie the thesis work together are my use of self as source and subject, my extrapolation of the personal to a social and political significance for others, my goal to complicate rather than solve or simplify issues, and a challenge to the notions of the normative, of authority, and of sociocultural presumptions that are harmful or limiting.

I have long  been experiencing and researching waiting rooms in their many forms. I am interested in how they are intentionally forgettable spaces, programmed to be non-spaces for non-time, proscribing a very specific way of acting within them.  I began constructing my own waiting rooms to subvert the experience of waiting for a doctor in a gallery space.  I create waiting rooms as installations that break some gallery and waiting room norms with a humorous combination of the familiar and the unexpected.  I use the new, interactive space, as a contemplative playground for ideas, a sort of tactical “safe space” where it becomes safe and encouraged to muse at and challenge the institutional methods that maintain our roles and attitudes around waiting, and around illness and wellness.

G. VanLaven ‘Please Wait’
Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC 2010