Suture | An Exhibition of "Medical Photographs"

11 January - 15 February 2003

Opening Reception: Saturday, January 11, 2-5 pm

Exhibition Dates: January 11 - February 15, 2003


From the early days of their invention, photographs have been utilized as evidence in documenting reality. Over the past 150 years, much discussion has been made about the relative objectivity/subjectivity that photographs actually impart. Nowhere are these distinctions more blurred than with the use of photographs for medical and scientific purposes. We are pleased to present in this exhibition photographs that were meant to inform and inspire, including examples from the 19thcentury through to the present day, from a number of different sources:


*          Images selected from the Burns Archive: This collection, established by Stanley Burns, M.D., F.A.C.S., an ophthalmic surgeon practicing in New York City, consists of over 500,000 vintage medical prints dating from the first century of photography. As well as providing access to researchers and contributing to exhibitions, the Archive functions as a starting point for Dr. Burns' own research, out of which nine books and hundreds of articles have already emerged.


*          Photographs of medical specimens have continually enticed viewers, for they beautifully depict what are, for most people, often gruesome realities. We will feature fine examples by Shelby Lee Adams, who has photographed the famed Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, as well as Daniel and Geo Fuchs, who have worked extensively in European collections.


*          A display of contemporary daguerreotypes, made by the New York-based artist Mark Kessell. As a former doctor, Mark has access to medical institutions and an intimate relationship with the scientific community. His work is concerned with the blurring of identity as evidenced in the early stages of human development and as recorded through his expressive use of this antique process.


*          In his celebrated work Genetic Self-PortraitGary Schneider challenges our accepted notion of portraiture through his exploration of human identity in its most scientific form. His self-portraits are created through electron microscopes, x-rays, fundus cameras, and other technologically advanced equipment. If the ultimate goal of any portrait is to capture more than the eye can see, than Shneider's work does this inherently, illustrating things that the naked eye cannot possibly see, but that are undeniably images of himself.


*          Nancy Burson has always used technology to record different facets human identity. Some of her most recent work has involved photographing phenomena that supercede current scientific knowledge. In this exhibition, we will show her aural fingerprints, made using a Gas Discharge Visualization camera, depicting the difference between positive and negative thoughts, love and anger.