Nicolai Howalt - Light Break / Lupus (2013)
“Light Break presents an investigation into the symbolic meaning and healing effect of light. This body of work takes as its focus the late-19th-century revolutionary research into light therapy undertaken by doctor and Nobel laureate Niels Finsen.
Finsen deduced that certain wavelengths of light could have beneficial medical effects for a number of otherwise incurable conditions. Through collaboration with the Medical Museion in Copenhagen, Howalt was able to access the vast archive relating to Finsen’s research, unseen in storage for almost a hundred years.
Light Break combines photo-documentation of crucial aspects of Finsen’s archive with an endeavor to capture, through the medium of photography, the color and expression of ultraviolet light, invisible to the human eye. The seemingly abstract images result from two distinct but related processes: The larger series are photographs taken directly of the sun, appropriated from the NASA website.”
Golding Bird Gold Medal for sanitary science (above), based on Golding Bird the physician (below). He was a major authority on kidney disease and a major player in establishing electricity’s use in medicine as well as the flexible stethoscope.
HANS VON GERSDORFF.Feldtbüch der wundtartzney. [Strassburg]: Schott, [1517?]
This work contains the first picture of an amputation ever printed, according to Garrison, as well as many other instructive pictures of early surgical procedures. Gersdorff later opposed Paré’s abandonment of boiling oil for the cauterization of wounds.
The Last Stitch
When sailors died at sea their bodies would, more often than not, be committed to the deep. They would be wrapped in their hammocks with cannon balls or weights placed at their feet to ensure they would sink. The hammock was then sewn up with the last stitch going through the sailor’s nose. If he did not wake up at the pain, they knew he was definitely dead."
With their round dance the electrons spin
chrysalises of that which abides,
the inmost cocoons
which do not open of their own accord
but are of that which abides.
There it is not a matter of hatching out."
There it is a matter of tending and protecting
the metamorphoses of the inmost
Harry Martinson, The electrons
From Dikter om ljus och mörker, 1971
Translated by Stephen Klass
Live Birth from Previously Vitrified Oocytes, After Trophectoderm Biopsy, Revitrification, and Transfer of a Euploid Blastocyst, in Clinical Medicine Insights: Reproductive Health published in Clinical Medicine Insights: Reproductive Health
Cara Phillips - Singular Beauty (published 2012)
"Beauty stalks us with a condescending eye. From television screens to magazines, shop windows to billboards, there is hardly a face or figure that hasnt been trimmed, polished, or reinvented to beleaguer us with an increasingly unattainable paradigm of physical beauty.
Here Phillips explores the reassuring environments and ominous implements of cosmetic surgery. The series provides a voyeuristic view into the pristine temples of physical transformation while simultaneously offering an insightful critique of our culture of narcissism.”
Title: [Anatomical illustrations].
Publication Information: New Harmony, 1830.
A monument to lab rats used for DNA research in Novosibirsk, Russia.
Fluorescence image of a rat neuron.
Monsieur Le Medicine
Attributed to Sir Henry William Bunbury
Spratt and Madeley, The Itinerant Apothecary.
Contains an interesting introductory section on “the passions,” and how they affect the heath of the physical body. The passions addressed in this section are of fear, hope, joy, anger, jealousy, love, grief, religion, and intemperance.
The idea behind this section, as explained in the introduction, is that proper psychology is essential towards maintaining good health, and if the underlying cause of a medical issue is a disposition towards the harmful passions, medical treatment alone cannot cure their ailments. The next sections deal with common ailments and disabilities, and their treatments.