X-Ray View of Multiple Hex Nuts in Pelvis
CT scan segments show relative locations.
1. CT scan: metal in left flank at level of kidney
2. CT scan: metal in left flank at upper pelvis
Top middle: metal embedded in left pelvis bone just above hip joint
4. CT scan: metal in hip bone with fracture, "black air" at entry point
5. CT scan: metal in hip bone with fracture, "black air" at entry point
This x-ray was necessary because a hex nut from a terrorist bomb tore into the calf bone of a civilian. We do not know if the victims is Jewish, Muslim, Christian or a member of some other faith, nor do we know the victim's age, gender or socio-economic status. We don't know how the victim happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Artists have always commented on war and violence. Goya’s portfolio, The Disasters of War, is perhaps the most graphic, but there are examples from the ancient Greeks through Picasso’s Guernica and beyond. And almost as soon as it became technically possible, the studio of photographer Mathew Brady made a record of the Civil War, including hundreds of images of soldiers in battle and in death. This tradition has continued throughout every conflict to the present day.
Photography is a way of making an image by drawing with the very light that the objects reflect, so when we look at photographs from the Civil War battlefield of Antietam, we see something very close to the horror of the scenes as they appeared to the photographer. We see records of actual events.
Modern medicine draws not with the visible light spectrum that we use in photography, but with electro-magnetic radiation - X-rays and CT scans – and with this we can see inside the human body.
Apart from the relentless need to see reality, artists also want to comment upon it. In the early part of the 20th century, artists began to piece together common objects that didn’t belong together, examining new meanings from the new combinations. Marcel DuChamp famously mounted a bicycle wheel onto a footstool, rendering them both useless. These were thought pieces, verbal and visual jokes.
The X-rays and CT scans in this exhibit are new ways to make figurative images and portraits. They represent life in the modern cross-section of these artistic traditions – both the desire to observe and describe reality with the most modern techniques available, and the need to think and talk about it. All of these images are the by-products of terrorism, which is a war on a civilian population. Terrorists pack their bombs with common objects – hex nuts, bolts, nails, watches – all meant for peaceful, utilitarian purposes. By blasting them into human beings, they create the madness of our times.
50x40" Duratrans film
Smashed Arm, Damaged Leg, Broken Foot
Left: Large piece of shrapnel, comminuted, angulated fracture of the distal radius
Right: Lateral view of ankle, multiple fragments of shrapnel, leg and foot broken in multiple places, fractured distal tibia, and fifth metatarsal and cuboid.
Duratrans image 32x40"