In a similar way, artist Joanne Matuschka uses her body to raise awareness about the issue of breast cancer, as well as the stark reality of medical intervention.

I remember looking in the mirror and saying, ‘I have such a beautiful body, something bad is going to happen here‘” (quoted in Kirkpatrick, 1998).

She said of the images: “I created these images because I care very much about the people who have had to cope with breast cancer in their lives, in particular the women who have been subjected to irreversible, unacceptable, and often unnecessary methods of treatment” (Kirkpatrick 1998).

Matuschka exhibited image and text together as a way of exploring her experience and sharing it with other women; her philosophy is that breast cancer is something that needs to be addressed openly and not hidden or hushed up:

Part of the problem is what Sontag (1978) described as the mystification surrounding cancer, and the fear of contagion that accompanies diagnosis – to the extent that people with cancer are often rejected by friends or family (social death).

Garland-Thomson notes that: “Matushka’s [sic] body presents disability as part of the range of human variation and experience, as the typical rather than the atypical, the beautiful rather than the grotesque” (2005, p 526) the damaged body is reinstated as an object or location of desire.

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