The most intimate self portrait

Artists dive inside the body to expose its secret elements

kerry grens
Kerry Grens

Kerry served as The Scientist’s news director until 2021. Before joining The Scientist in 2013, she was a stringer for Reuters Health, the senior health and science reporter at...

View full profile.


Learn about our editorial policies.

Mar 15, 2007
Three adjacent walls display black and white videos of moonscape panoramas, each moving at a different pace as the cameras scan the other-worldly terrain. Huge boulders, deep crevasses, and spikes jutting like cacti from sand dunes come into relief and slide back into shadow. Standing in the dark, surrounded on three sides by these projections, one gets the sense of floating slowly over the surface of Titan.
"I think that might be the inside of her mouth," guesses Laura Addison, the curator of contemporary art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe. The videos, she explains, are actually scanning electron microscopic (SEM) images of artist Justine Cooper's mouth, skin, and hair. Behind Addison is a bust composed of slides from an MRI scan; around the corner, a photograph of an artist's giant sperm hangs on the wall.The collection is part of an exhibition at the museum called...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?