The Behring Institute has been collecting placebos for art. Long-term research on
the influence of art on public health using the collected placebos will be carried out
beginning in 2011.
Relationships between art and healthcare, as well as the influence and effects of art
on health, have been studied frequently. The results of many studies indicate positive
patients treatment outcomes and suggest that art can lead to a reduction in the amount
of medication used by patients, shortening of patients’ hospital stays, improvement of
working conditions, fostering of the doctor/patient relationship, and improvement of
patient mental health. Moreover, a recent study carried out among 12,000 subjects in
Great Britain shows that as people become increasingly involved with art, they appear to
enjoy increasingly improved general health.
In order to do epistemological research on the phenomena made manifest by the various
studies, the Behring Institute will launch a long-term worldwide study in 2011 on the
effects of art on the health of individuals. Our current plan is for the second phase of our
Call for Placebos for Art to continue under the name Art of Healing. During the coming
years, we will continue our research via new research platforms and methods.
Midway through the course of this project, a special monitoring committee will examine
the research for any significant discrepancies. In this type of research, the differences
between the control group and the study group become visible only after post-study
analysis. All participating patients must give their consent prior to participation; the study
will comply with Dutch legislation for academic medical research on human beings and
will be carried out according to the applicable international guidelines.
The Behring Institute has published the preliminary results of the Call for Placebos for Art
in early 2011. This consists of a first attempt at grouping, categorizing, and defining
the pieces, projects, paintings, pills, and installations.
You can download the low resolution report as a pdf here
You can download the high resolution report as a pdf here
Though the deadline for submissions has passed, we still encourage you to contribute
to the discovery of a suitable placebo. The Behring Institute will agree to appropriate
compensation in consultation with the makers of the works to be used.
Examples and leads can be e-mailed to:
Or posted to:
Behring Institute for Medical Research Netherlands, attn: Mrs. Andersom,
Nieuwe Uilenburgerstraat 5
1011 LM Amsterdam
Once the selection process has been completed, the submitted documentation can unfortunately not be
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(the "Content") contained in its publications. However, the Behring Institute and its
agents and licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the
accuracy, completeness or suitability for any purpose of the Content and disclaim all
such representations and warranties whether expressed or implied to the maximum
extent permitted by law. Any views expressed in this text are the views of the authors
and are not the views of the Behring Institute.