Medical Mythos

by Darian Goldin Stahl

Gallery Two
September 15
- October 9, 2022

Medical Mythos explores our complex stories of healthcare and illness in ways that are enstranging, surreal, and enchanting. Merging epochs of scientific innovation with a hint of lore, I aim for this exhibition to take up the visual culture of medicine and re-present it with affirming sensibilities that centre the patient perspective. Although medicine can be a heavy topic, dreamy visions of technicolor and glitter transform a difficult, isolating subject matter into a universal tale that nearly anyone can see themselves within. 

Medical Mythos emerges from two collaborative practices. The first is my sister, who is a Professor of Clinical Ethics and multiple sclerosis patient. I layer her biomedical scans, historical anatomical illustrations, and the graphic designs on MRI machines to elucidate her lived experiences with MS. After a decade of artistic partnership, the topic of “illness” has grown to encompass new aspects of life, particularly as a woman. Themes of medical surveillance during infertility treatments and motherhood seep into these visual expressions of disease.

The second collaboration is with two scientists at the McGill University Health Centre. Together, we created artwork that visualizes the potential of their research to improve women’s reproductive autonomy. Mice are central characters in this work, evoking parallel notions of creation with animals in folklore alongside the progress of medicine using laboratory mouse models. The final artworks from these collaborations illuminate the process of medicine from inception to application, and explore the role of art to connect researchers with those who seek healing. 

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