implant series artist statements
Medical implants have the power to sustain and improve life. However, due to strict governmental regulations in the US, many of these devices “expire” despite being perfectly usable. Others are recalled due to adverse bodily affects. Furthermore, the US is the largest exporter of medical implants to developing and third world countries that are in desperate need of such medical solutions. Unfortunately, the delivery of these implants is often made problematic by bureaucratic entanglements, black market interventions, high tariffs, and prolonged testing procedures. Such complications cost countless lives every year. This series of work glorifies these powerful medical objects and aims to raise awareness of the complex issues that result in these implants never making it into the body to serve their necessary purpose.
Of A Particular Kind (Implants Series II)
This series comments on the highly individual and personal nature of medical surgeries and the power that medical implants have on an individual’s life. Access to such surgeries is a privilege that billions worldwide do not have. Due to this disparity, people have traveled great distances and fought against great hardships to obtain medical devices or find medical solutions for a loved one, often to no avail. As such, medical implants become highly politicized, contested, and profound objects that have immeasurable material and personal value. Through hand-fabrication and aestheticization, this work explores these tensions by exposing and glorifying what is commonly left unseen.
Hyperbolic (Implant Series III)
This series focuses on medical implants, the body, and embodied experience. These hand-fabricated objects glorify the highly individual and personal nature of prosthesis and surgeries, while evoking notions of memento mori and the fragile nature of the human form. Using real medical implants as inspiration, I have re-invented and exaggerated these devices for imagined bodies. The intention is for viewers to consider their own physicality and to visualize the absent anatomies implied by the work.
Mechanization (Implant Series IV)
Medical devices were casted and mass produced using raw, foundational materials in an industrial setting. Mass production is typically associated with abundance, access, and affordability, but the power of abundance takes on new significance when the objects produced are unusable and even life-threatening if put into the body; biocompatibility dictates that only certain metals can be used for implanted medical devices, usually platinum or titanium. Thus, the work in this series illuminates the paradox of an intentionally un-usable mass produced set of medical objects. It asks viewers to think about abundance for abundance’s sake, and for considering what a precious and personal object means when mass produced in a raw material and presented in a gallery setting.
* Series Completed at the John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry program in Spring 2015
Ox(ss)id(ific)ation (Implants Series V)
Medical implants are human-made devices intended to replace, support, or enhance a biological structure. As objects of art, however, they take on a life of their own. They no longer require the body to give them purpose, or to determine their shape, design or material make-up. New forms can give them new life, and yet, they can never truly escape the body, for it is always implied by their very existence. This series animates medical implants through its hybrid bone-like forms, while intimating the connections between rust and blood, and oxidation with the aging of both metal and bodies.
* Series Completed at the John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry program in Spring 2015.