Patients await treatment at the Arts Emergency Response Centre. Photograph: Steve Blunt
Right prescription: Patients await treatment at the Arts Emergency Response Centre. Photograph: Steve Blunt

An immersive ‘arts hospital’ curated by artist Bob and Roberta Smith has opened, aiming to put the arts in the spotlight this General Election.

‘Patients’ can visit the Arts Emergency Response Centre at The Cass Bank gallery in Aldgate East and receive ‘treatment’ (knowledge and advice) from organisations advocating the arts.

The exhibition confronts issues such as funding, privilege and class. Visitors enter a hospital ward and pick up a prescription from an ‘Arts Emergency Pharmacist’.

They then pass on to a ‘waiting room’ where they can view art that considers the value of art in society. Patients then receive treatment in a series of clinics held by organisations such as Bow Arts and The Art Party.

Over three weeks, the immersive exhibition will be dealing with the themes of democracy, health and diversity.

Cass Professor and curator Bob and Roberta Smith (real name Patrick Brill) said: “Since the coalition agreement was signed in 2010 there has been concern that the arts are diminishing within the school curriculum and that the arts have suffered a disproportionate cut in Government funding.

“We are bringing together many of the organisations who have actively engaged with this issue.”

The exhibition is a collaboration with Arts Emergency, a charity founded by comedian Josie Long and Neil Griffiths which promotes the arts and humanities among low income teenagers.

Griffiths added: “This show is a celebration of our collective creative response to the erosion of access, the reversal of genuine social mobility, and the entrenchment of privilege in the arts and humanities.”

Until 3 May
The Cass Bank Gallery, London Metropolitan University, 59–63 Whitechapel High Street, E1 7PF
@TheCassArt #cassemergency

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