The Waiting Room

Queering The Waiting Room aims to open up a critical dialogue around embodied experiences of disciplined spaces, with an emphasis on clinical environments, institutional processes and their repetitive rhythms. These spaces reflect the prevailing neoliberal condition, serving to reinforce the reductive dualism of a body as either healthy or sick, normal or pathological. This is especially true of the mental health institution; the loss of agency and time – for patients often detained involuntarily – are common side effects of rigid, controlling routines and stagnant institutional behaviours.

Drawing from queer theory, which questions norms and rejects thinking in binaries, Queering The Waiting Room reimagines the institution as malleable. Borrowing from Jean Oury’s notion of ‘pathoplasty’, which attributes sickness to the milieu, the project redirects the gaze away from individual patients and towards the social structure of the hospital itself. In doing so, it turns the act of pathologising upside down and constructs a methodology for critiquing current models – an approach which favours embodied criticality over inherited knowledge, and the collective over the individual. Through a multiplicity of references – from archival footage to contemporary interviews – the project’s visual assemblage reflects its layered methodology of collective unlearning, advocating for fluidity in the rhizomatic deconstruction of dualisms.


QTWR 2021
  1. Waiting Room wallpaper
  2. La Moindre Des Choses
  3. Pineapple Furniture
  4. Manual Labours
  5. SAR2021Vienna
  6. The Green Hospital
  7. La Moindre Des Choses
  8. Upside down

A project by Phoebe Eustance in collaboration with Jess Oglethorpe, a forensic mental health Occupational Therapist.

CAMPUS: On Knowledge Production

Using the format of a conversation, this text explores collective knowledge production in the context of CAMPUS, the independent study programme at Nottingham Contemporary. Written by a group of 2019–2020 CAMPUS participants, it is organised around five key questions which address some of the challenges when thinking about institutional and extra-institutional spaces of learning in a neoliberal society. Drawn from the fields of art, academia, and activism, the contributors to this article have reflected on traditional forms of knowledge production and learning, and the structural inequalities these systems uphold. The text is an invitation to open up further discussions beyond institutional arenas.

Cite this article as:

Chairetaki, Alexandra, Gráinne Charlton, Laurie Cummins, Phoebe Eustance, Jade Foster, Colette Griffin, Milika Muritu, Hugh Nicholson, Ese Onojeruo, Jessica Piette, Raúl Valdivia. ‘CAMPUS: On Knowledge Production’. The Contemporary Journal 2 (July 21, 2020). [https://thecontemporaryjournal.org/strands/critical-pedagogies/on-campus-reflections-on-collective-knowledge-production].


Phoebe Eustance is an artist and researcher based in London, currently on a residency at Hospitalfield in Arbroath, Scotland. Their project Queering The Waiting Room was shown in April 2021 in the form of a video essay at Care, Dare, Share: International Conference for Artistic Research hosted by the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Between 2019 and 2020 Phoebe participated in CAMPUS Independent Study Programme at Nottingham Contemporary. In 2020, they co-wrote ‘Reflections on Collective Knowledge Production’, published in The Contemporary Journal and ‘To all my sisters inside’, published in Futuress Journal. Phoebe holds an MA in Research Architecture from Goldsmiths, University of London and a BA in Fine Art from Leeds & Lisboa Universities.

Alongside their practice, Phoebe is Head of Research at Hospital Rooms facilitating workshops and installations with critically acclaimed artists in NHS mental health units. Through this they curated an exhibition and public programme at South London Gallery as part of the SLG Hosts stream.