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Catherine Wagner - Right Arm I

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TRADITION OF MAYHEM - Curated by Marna Hill

September 16 – October 17, 2013

Right Arm I

Catherine Wagner, Right Arm I
2010, light jet print, 22" x 34"

Courtesy of the artist, Catherine Wagner, and Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco

Artist Statement


These photographs address ideas of reparation and repair through the metaphor-rich object of the splint. From crudely carved wooden slabs to high-tech, molded polymer forms the splint references both injury and health; harm and healing. This is a response to the perpetual presence of images of war. These photographs reference physical traces of efforts to heal physically, culturally, and spiritually.

Each of the objects photographed was constructed to repair a fissure or fracture. They were designed to map onto the human body; to support its recovery and repair or to act as an anatomical extension to a broken body. As such, these splints and prostheses are corporeal traces, clues to various processes of reparation.

The passage of time and changing attitudes towards medicine and technology can also be read through these objects' materiality. Their aesthetic derives from the attitude of the era of their creation. This work speaks to both changing means in coping and our remarkable resilience as humans and as a society.