Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Gabrielė Gervickaitė, 03, NoRoutine Book, Riga, Latvia, 2018, ed. 99.

A rather curious accordion that includes the following statement about what this Lithuanian artist is exploring in this book:

03 is my creative reflection on the soviet time, when I was born and lived for a while. It is my intention to understand deeper which power systems are functioning now and how soviet imagery still influences the times of today. It is important to me which aesthetics and ethics were used while imaging the human body in medical books and tutorials. Comparing medical illustration that were used in the past and those that are used now, I see forms of medical control. I analyze which ethical events and forms of power exist — what the norms used to be and which created now.

Folded into the pages of this accordion are a number of color offset prints depicting bodies being acted upon by a number of different corrective medical devices, counterposed with older drawings of other assorted medical instruments. 

Knowing that a main area of concern in Gervickaitė's work revolves around exploring images of disability, informed by her own personal experiences and surgeries, I can't help but interpret this work within this very personal context. While the larger issues she seeks to address provide the broader context for for this book, it is the body and its encounter with the world of medicine that takes center stage for me. And, anyone who has had encounters of this sort will readily identify with these rather curious medical procedures being applied to these hapless 'victims'. Ultimately the contents of this book are rather unsettling, and reinforced by the uniquely constructed pages and attached inserts.

10 pages, double-sided, with inserts. Individual pages 6.25" (h) x 6.25" (w), and fully open 5ft 8.75".

back cover

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