Daneyal Mahmood Gallery presents TERMINAL a two-part installation by Justine Cooper. Included is RAPT I and II, marking the 10 year anniversary of these seminal works.
Cooper’s work expresses multiple ideas of desire, drawing from the fields of medicine and science, which outwardly may seem far from desire. Yet there is a desire by natural science to rationalize our sublime world, to understand where we came from, and perhaps where we are heading. There is a desire by medicine to push the physical and chemical boundaries of our bodies into places that may make us healthier or happier. Through her art, Cooper manifests her curiosity as to how these areas intersect with us as a society and as individuals.
The title of the current show refers to her new series of large format photographs depicting medical robots and mannequins. These sophisticated manikins, typically connected up to computers, simulate living situations from crisis to childbirth. At once alien and familiar, they represent the feats of modern medical technology. Far from the public dissections of the 17th century, these private theaters play out imagined traumas for the benefit of doctors and surgeons honing their skills. In this landscape, the abject body of the patient is dispensed with and supplanted by creations that are neither virtual, nor real. At a time when medical intervention can be so de-humanizing, when technology is criticized for removing us from reality, these images create a perverse inversion. The artist found that the personnel charged with the care of the mannequins had humanized these objects into subjects by naming them, dressing them in holiday attire and constructing a narrative through their care. These million dollar manikins embody memories of daily life, offering up their injuries and procedures as rather austere visual diaries in the era of Second Life and the blogosphere.