Everyone knows them, the anxious minutes, sometimes hours, in the waiting room before the appointment in the office building or in the doctor’s office, which is urgently needed and cannot be postponed any longer, is imminent.
So how do you spend this time of tension? There are of course different ways of doing this. Sometimes the person waiting brings something to read, usually in the form of a book, which is then not read due to the tension, or the same lines are read over and over again because the thoughts are constantly revolving around the upcoming appointment .
In this tense situation, it is therefore appropriate, from a purely psychological point of view, for the respective operator of these „torture chambers“ to provide variety themselves in order to relieve the tension of those waiting. In most cases, therefore, there is an extremely varied range of magazines that one would never read in normal life – let alone buy. In the municipal office, this range is then usually reduced to reading material such as the official gazette or the respective district newspaper. Quite an intelligent approach insofar as these extremely exciting literary works contribute greatly to general distraction. If it is an operator with a sense for the beautiful things in life, waiting rooms are sometimes also equipped with pictures and objects that depict either nature, landscape or foreign countries and their architecture. Nature mainly because we know that it is calming.
It is less important what exactly or how something is shown. The stated goal is to send the person waiting mentally on a journey, ideally to suggest a pleasant situation, to get their mind off things – even if only for a few moments.
Text: Lucas Cuturi
The exhibition took place at the 9th edition of the Viennese artfair PARALLEL from the 7th till the 12th of September 2021 at the Semmelweisklinik at Hockegasse 37, 1180 Vienna