Frantic, lascivious and licentious: a hysterical woman | Artistic characteristic
Hys te ri a / həˈstirēə, həˈsterēə /: “a psychological disorder (not now considered a single definite state) the symptoms of which include the conversion of psychological stress to physical symptoms (somatization), selective amnesia, volatile emotions superficial and or attention-seeking behavior. The term has a controversial history as it was once considered a disease specific to women. “
I was 18 when I came face to face with a doctor’s assumption that my physical pain was nothing more than a nervous breakdown. With my feet in the stirrups, the most vulnerable position, I had not one but three doctors who told me it was all mental. Frustrated, confused, and in pain, I searched for new doctors, tried to find communities online, and after eight grueling years, I recovered from a common sexual disorder through alternative practice, therapy, and self-assurance. that it wasn’t, in fact, all in my head.
The history of hysteria dates back to the 1800s and early 1900s, when “female hysteria” was a diagnosis for women with anxiety, fainting, nervousness, insomnia, abdominal pain. , loss of appetite or sexual desire. It is the first mental illness attributed to women. What are now common illnesses or medical problems were once hidden from public view and treated in incredibly horrific ways. Men have rarely been presented as hysterical; it is a woman’s disease. In the 1970s, women who felt pain during sex were seen as having suppressed their anger towards men. In 2012, when I was barely 20 years old and trying to have the enjoyable sex life I knew I deserved, medicine told me otherwise.
Selva Apariciothe personal exhibition of, “Hysteria,” Opened in October at the International Museum of Surgical Sciences, but as the new term has shortened, the museum could extend the show when it can reopen. Until then, some Aparicio pieces can be viewed online. The exhibit references this push and pull between science, gender, and cis men’s rights on a woman’s body. Born and raised outside of Barcelona, the artist found solace in nature and relied on that experience in her professional work. Combining her passion for natural materials and her personal experiences with hospitals and medicine, she obtained a residency position in spring 2020 at the museum. Growing up in a family of doctors, Aparicio explains how she saw the transition to death with her own eyes. “This exposure to death and the medical field affects me deeply, and I reconcile these experiences in my works, exploring the transient nature of life and the erosion of the boundaries between science and art,” he explains. -it.
Aparicio says: “Unfortunately, I am one of the many victims of sexual harassment by a healthcare professional. [The] the field of women’s health is still predominantly male dominated, and the way things are taught does not differ much from the teaching methods of early obstetrics in the male world after being stolen from the hands of the wife. For example, the speculum, invented by a man, had the same design since the 1800s. Halfway between a medical device and a torture device, the cold metal tool escapes the body and fulfills a role that all women know very well and a role that the majority despise. Supporting your legs in a vulnerable and exposed position, such as in stirrups, is not only uncomfortable but violent. Aparicio’s play Hysteria wraps a Hamilton gynecological table by weaving together branches of thorns. In the work, the artist has enclosed the table, an object that many women can identify with, with these sprigs of thorns. The thorns alter a full view of the table and create a curtain structure surrounding the table, where the actual thorns face inward and the soft side faces the viewer.
“Medical curtains are supposed to respect your privacy and make you feel comfortable, but I find they are just the opposite,” says Aparicio. “In this installation, the viewer can browse, choose the situation and decide whether or not to get involved. It is about looking and being watched.
Aparicio, whose work is closely linked to nature, combines the sterilization of the museum with objects found in the woods. In the Obstetrics and Gynecology gallery at IMSS, his piece Luto’s bike, which translates to “mourning veil,” includes the wings of a 17-year-old cicada and the hair of a woman. The artist drove from Chicago to Kansas to collect the cicada wings. “I waited for them to die. I wait until all my materials are thrown away or dead before I use them, ”she says. The work is uterine in shape and is located behind a museum glass, presented as a fragile object.
In this same gallery, barbaric methods used by medical experts to administer childbirth, as well as other procedures, are on display. Gynecological tools from the museum’s collection are displayed in a display case in the gallery space where it can be seen that the devices have not changed much, if at all. “By contextualizing the room in the obstetrics room, surrounded by paintings of women giving birth from the hands of a group of men, a group of specula can make us think of the inventor Dr. Sims who did his research and research. surgeries on slaves in his backyard. The forceps that have saved so many lives but also ended so many lives or created lasting health complications give a moment of breathing, of reflection, ”said Aparicio.
The combination of hair and wings represents the decay of life, two materials that represent the end. When looking at the work, soft and fragile, it is easy to imagine that this is a cathartic process for Aparicio, as each wing is sewn together to create a larger piece. She says, “The fragility of this room requires you to be aware of yourself, including how you breathe. Exhale too hard and you will break the piece, pass it too fast and it will fall to the ground.
Aparicio is a fascinating artist. As you browse through her portfolio, you’ll find that she works closely with corpses in a mortuary. His attention to the body, death and transition is interwoven throughout his work. So it makes sense that the artist is working as an Artist in Residence in the Unique Museum here in Chicago. After being part of an exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art titled “William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum”, where she spent countless hours in the morgue, and the “difficult birth” of her son, she began to explore themes around obstetric objects.
“I was immediately carried by the forceps and the evolution of its shape and materials, the speculum and its controversial history of [the] invention of Dr. Sims. And what would become the centerpiece of the main installation; an obstetrics table from 1931. Viewers will relate, although not always positively, to the table. Initialization, racism and sexism in the medical field are taken into account by the spectators, the artist and the museum in this installation.
Due to the recent closure of museums and galleries, Aparicio says: “It is unfortunate that after so much work, the pieces will live in a closed museum. However, she says she tries to think positively. “Due to the scale of my installations, I often only see them fully assembled once installed. It gives me a chance to think longer at work and find other places where I could potentially show them in the near future.
Aparicio says, “’Hysteria’ centers both the memories imbued within and the imprints of former patients on these enduring pieces to explore the nature of femininity as a condition defined by conflict, pain and pain. the transition, constantly positioned on the very edge of life and death. ” v
For the moment, the International Museum of Surgical Sciences is closed in accordance with the governor’s new mandate. The show will likely be extended.