Maureen Cummins, 2016. Hardcover. Number 34 of 40 copies. Signed the artist. In this powerful work, noted book artist Maureen Cummins investigates the dark side of the history of psychosurgery, as exemplified by the career of Doctor Walter Freeman (1895-1972), a professor of neurology who became known as the father of lobotomy by single-handedly popularizing the pre-frontal lobotomy in America. Although he had no formal training in either surgery or psychology, Freeman modified the traditional procedure for lobotomies by driving ice picks through his patients’ eye sockets rather than drilling into the skull to sever nerve connections in the prefrontal cortex to treat mental illness. Despite his championing of his procedure he admitted that lobotomies often created childlike behavior or a vegetative state in patients. Hundreds of patients died. The controversial procedure also raised numerous questions about patients’ rights, the abuse of institutional power, and the disproportionate targeting of women. Of the more than 3000 patients that Freeman operated on, two-thirds were women. Cummins uses physical rape as an analogy for neurological penetration, a form of sexualized violence that was perpetuated for decades in the name of medical progress. She visualizes this by a series of laser cut holes that bore through each page, becoming smaller page by page.The holes penetrate reproduced images of lobotomy patients’ heads and on the last page the title “The Rapist” becomes “Therapist?” The images of women are from 'before-and-after” photos used in Freeman’s textbook, which are re-contextualized, with lines of typography serving as blindfolds, reclaiming for these women a measure of dignity, humanity, and anonymity. The pages of the book are laser-cut aluminum with silkscreen-printed text and imagery. The covers are also laser-cut aluminum with a large hole that reveals the subsequent holes and "The" and "rapist" on either side of the cover's hole. The pages are attached to the cover by two ring binders. Housed in an aluminum box with a metal title label affixed to the top. In fine condition. 16 pages. 24” x 9” x 1” open 12” x 9” x 1 closed. ARTISTSB/100419. Fine.
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Washington DC: 2012-2013. Hardcover. Limited to 7 copies. These three fascinating volumes comprise the Non-Boundaries Series. They document a project undertaken by Zussman in which a group of people was asked to categorize a list of forty-two interactions between memory and reality into three to five categories. The book artist states: "This project has been a physical fulfillment of the question of whether there is any conscious common ground to the way we categorize unfamiliar phenomena and interactions that haven't been categorized for us in advance." The first volume provides the categories representing each participant's grouping and categorization of the interactions. In the second volume, participants were asked to map up to five interactions from the same list, using Euclidean geometric tools of a dot and a line. The third volume uses Jeremy Bentham's circular structure, the Panopticon to explore the interactions between memory and reality from the first two volumes. Each volume is bound in white laminate covers with the title printed in black on the cover. In fine condition. 8 x 10 inches, Unpaginated. This set may require an extra shipping fee. ARTISTSBOOK/081315. Fine.