HUMAN NATURE – THE WHITE CUT
Based on accumulated scientific knowledge (copies of letters, documents, photos, and diagrams) the series of prints illustrate the field of Corte Blanco.
Leucotomy and similar methods like prefrontal lobotomy, ice pick lobotomy, stereotactic lobotomy and capsulotomy are all surgical operations where the pathways of white nerve fibers within the brain connecting the frontal lobe and prefrontal cortex to the thalamus, which is responsible for relaying sensory information to the cortex, are cut.
The idea was to ”cut away” the disruptive thoughts and behaviors of the psychotic patient to make them calmer.
The title of the project is visualized physically as empty spaces in several of the works. Thematically the empty areas refer to the actual surgical act and the loss of personality.
The white areas of lost information makes room for reflection by attracting attention raising questions like: What was here before? What is lost?
Through the gaps the project addresses our common historical memory and Zeitgeist. Discourses of knowledge are dependent on time. What is true and false is relative. Some things are forgotten and abandoned and new things are discovered.
Today the white cut are looked upon as an act of desperation and ignorance. But back in 1949 the Portuguese neuropsychiatrist António Caetano de Abreu Freire Egas Moniz got the Nobelprize “for his discovery of the therapeutic value of leucotomy in certain psychoses”.
The series is published as a leporello with illustrated texts. Text and illustrations can be downloaded here:
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