The Wandering Organ. From the body of work Unmaking the Menstruating Body

 

Installation

56.14cm x 84.1cm | 39.65cm x 59.4cm

4 diptychs colour prints on matte paper

Labels for each drawing

This work explores how anatomical drawings have depicted women's reproductive anatomy throughout history, shaping today's understanding and image of the female sex. In opposition to the unique representation of the male sex, medical drawings on the left show how depictions of the uterus have changed over time. Photographs by the artist on the right make a critique on the isomorphism of the drawings, exploring ideas of disgust, animality, and abnormality, traditionally attributed to women at the time the illustrations were made. Title of this collection is inspired by Hippocrates, who named the uterus "the wandering womb". The Greek translated it as "an animal within an animal", considering it among with menstruation, the origin of most women’s diseases. 

Jakob Rüff, 1500-1558

Woodcut illustrating the uterus and the foetus. 

Published at De conceptu et generatione hominis,

et iis quae circa haec potissimum consyderantur, libri sex.

Andreas Vesalius, 1543

Drawing of the female reproductive anatomy.  

Published at De humani corporis fabrica, libri septem.

Regnier de Graaf, 1672

Drawing of the female reproductive anatomy.  

Published at De mulierium organis generationi inservientibus.

Ferdinando Ferrari, 1843

Illustration of the uterus.

Published at Atlante generale della anatomia patologica del corpo umano.

©2021 Natalia Lazaro Prevost