Saturday, October 15, 2011

Object Acquisition # 2007-2.102 Heart Valves

Documenting objects from The Hunt Show:

Object Acquisition # 2007-2.102 Heart Valves

Object interpreted and Statement by 
Clare Carpenter

The prints in this series represent the processing of many complicated sets of dual ideas. Valves, by their nature, are mindless gatekeepers. They are almost binary in their function. Yes, No. Open, Closed. The Mitral Valve is itself a bi-leaf structure, and the artificial Mitral Valve first developed and implanted in 1960 by Portland’s Dr. Albert Starr and engineer Lowell Edwards are defined by dualities. The artificial valve is at once representative of improbability and overwhelmingly successful innovation. In the process of making these prints I wanted to explore representing duality using positive and negative space, abstraction and representation. A heart that is not really a heart, the areas where black and white make grey; because in fact, a valve’s function is not simply binary but may comprise many degrees of open and closed.
Participating in The Hunt has also, for me, been an exploration of duality. At times it’s felt like an exercise in patience with myself and my process. The opportunity to take in so much information from the historic archives at OHSU, to the immense amount of medical information I’ve sifted through, to the personal anecdotes I’ve heard from people who’ve been treated by Dr. Starr, within all of that I could get lost for many, many months. However the incredible help of fellow artists participating in the project, and other artists simply willing to lend an ear when I needed to blurt through everything I’ve taken in to help me discern the tiny nugget that needed to be gleaned from all of that information – that has been a truly wonderful and certainly lasting result.

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