Abstract: The presenters explore the intersections of biomedicine, narrative, and fine art to shed light on the meaning of illness. Dr. Devan Stahl will narrate her experience of being diagnosed with MS through the use of MRIs and how those images came to shape her understanding of illness. From her perspective as a medical ethicist, chaplain, and patient, these medical imagines cannot capture the lived experience of illness within individual bodies or within the cultural context. Dr. Stahl will place that pathography into typologies commonly used in literature and medical humanities to reveal the types of illness narratives that are frequently underrepresented. The second presenter, Darian Goldin Stahl, MFA, will describe how she uses those same MRIs and other medical ephemera from the scanning process to create prints, installations, and Artists’ books that layer flesh and scans to sensorially nuance the lived experiences of illness. By merging representations of their own bodies, the presenters reconstruct ill-identity in mutuality. Together, the Stahls investigate the significance of this patient-printmaker collaboration, including how it challenges the power-ontology of biomedicine and what possibilities emerge as a result of making space for a multidisciplinary perspective on illness.
With an introduction by Dr. Kathleen Eggleson, Indiana University School of Medicine - South Bend.