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August 30 - October 16, 2020

Cristin Millett
Coronal Plane

Installation
Main Gallery

Virtual Opening, Sunday, August 30, 7 pm
featuring a livestream video of the exhibition on Facebook

Artwork is available for purchase from our online store. Click here.

'Coronal Plane,' MDO (medium density overlay), poplar, LED lights, inkjet prints mounted on glass, 6 x 30 x 30 ft, by Cristin Millett

Coronal Plane
MDO (medium density overlay), poplar, LED lights, inkjet prints mounted on glass
6 x 30 x 30 ft
NFS


'Coronal Plane,'  (detail), MDO (medium density overlay), poplar, LED lights, inkjet prints mounted on glass, 6 x 30 x 30 ft, by Cristin Millett

Coronal Plane (detail)
MDO (medium density overlay), poplar, LED lights, inkjet prints mounted on glass
6 x 30 x 30 ft
NFS

'Coronal Plane,' (detail), MDO (medium density overlay), poplar, LED lights, inkjet prints mounted on glass, 6 x 30 x 30 ft, by Cristin Millett

Coronal Plane (detail)
MDO (medium density overlay), poplar, LED lights, inkjet prints mounted on glass
6 x 30 x 30 ft
NFS

'Coronal Plane,' (detail), MDO (medium density overlay), poplar, LED lights, inkjet prints mounted on glass, 6 x 30 x 30 ft, by Cristin Millett

Coronal Plane (detail)
MDO (medium density overlay), poplar, LED lights, inkjet prints mounted on glass
6 x 30 x 30 ft
NFS


'Coronal Plane,' (detail), MDO (medium density overlay), poplar, LED lights, inkjet prints mounted on glass, 6 x 30 x 30 ft, by Cristin Millett

Coronal Plane (detail)
MDO (medium density overlay), poplar, LED lights, inkjet prints mounted on glass
6 x 30 x 30 ft
NFS

'Coronal Plane,'  (detail), MDO (medium density overlay), poplar, LED lights, inkjet prints mounted on glass, 6 x 30 x 30 ft, by Cristin Millett

Coronal Plane (detail)
MDO (medium density overlay), poplar, LED lights, inkjet prints mounted on glass
6 x 30 x 30 ft
NFS

'Coronal Plane,' MDO (medium density overlay), poplar, LED lights, inkjet prints mounted on glass, 6 x 30 x 30 ft, by Cristin Millett

Coronal Plane
MDO (medium density overlay), poplar, LED lights, inkjet prints mounted on glass
6 x 30 x 30 ft
NFS


'Transection of the Anatomical Planes,' (version 2), CNC machined plaster, welded steel, 26 x 68 x 34 inches, by Cristin Millett

Transection of the Anatomical Planes (version 2)
CNC machined plaster, welded steel
26 x 68 x 34 inches
$5,000


'Transection of the Anatomical Planes,' (version 2), CNC machined plaster, welded steel, 26 x 68 x 34 inches, by Cristin Millett

Transection of the Anatomical Planes (version 2)
CNC machined plaster, welded steel
26 x 68 x 34 inches
$5,000

'Transection of the Anatomical Planes,' (version 2), CNC machined plaster, welded steel, 26 x 68 x 34 inches, by Cristin Millett

Transection of the Anatomical Planes (version 2)
(Detail) CNC machined plaster, welded steel
26 x 68 x 34 inches
$5,000


Artist Statement

Coronal Plane is the culmination of Millett's research on the anatomical theater at the University of Padua built in 1594, the oldest surviving anatomy theater in the world. The installation allows viewers to walk into and through a space that evokes physical, emotional, and psychological reactions similar to those experienced in the historic anatomy theater in Padua by audiences of the past. Illustrations depicted on red "windows" in Millett's work are appropriated from De formato foetu, a text written by Hieronymus Fabricus (Fabricius), the Chair of Anatomy at the University of Padua. It was under his leadership that the anatomy theater of 1594 was built. Millett's allusions to Catholic confessionals and kneeling benches in the installation invites the viewer to question the contradictory stance between dissections performed for medical education and dissections completed in order to disperse sacred remains for widespread worship. Particular references to sexuality and sexual differences are also central to Millett’s investigation of historical medical practices and philosophies. The University of Padua was one of the first institutions that dissected both male and female cadavers.

In anatomical terminology, the coronal plane is a vertical plane that divides the body into stomach and back sections. Adopting this approach for dissection, Millett created a partial section of the Paduan anatomy theater, thereby metaphorically "dissecting" the space and exposing the supporting structure within. In plan, the installation recreates a lateral section of the anatomy theater, with the section rotated 90° and placed horizontally at floor level. By incorporating the concentric tiers of balustrades, the installation directly refers to the architecture of the anatomy theater. The lateral section is extruded to a height of six feet in order for the viewer to physically engage with the installation. From the outside, the supporting funnel-like framework is revealed, a structure that is largely invisible in the historic anatomy theater. In keeping with the aesthetic of the historic anatomy theater, the balustrades are constructed of wood milled using CNC technology. Thus, the partial section with an exposed skeletal system suggests a methodology similar to the study of anatomy through dissection, removing layers to reveal the internal workings.

At the heart of the installation is Transection of the Anatomical Planes, a dissecting table incised along the three anatomical planes. The slab "table" normally supporting a supine cadaver is instead a sunken cavity suggesting emptiness and loss. The sculpture references the tradition of ecorché models as well as contemporary medical modes of imaging the body.

Artist Bio

Straddling traditional disciplinary boundaries, Cristin Millett's investigations of medicine and its history are integral to her artistic process. Her toolkit of sculptural processes incorporates new advances in digital technology along with established methods of sculpture such as stone carving and bronze casting. The resulting objects and installations prompt a contemporary cultural critique of societal issues surrounding reproduction and gender identity.

Millett was awarded a Fulbright to the University of Western Australia in 2020. For her Fulbright, she is working as an artist in residence at SymbioticA, an artistic laboratory dedicated to research and hands-on engagement with the life sciences. At SymbioticA, she is studying the science of ectogenesis, the augmentation or replacement of the fecund uterus by a machine. The outcome of her research will be the creation of a sculptural artwork titled Ex-Utero. Ex-Utero will prompt questions and conversations about the socio-cultural impact of ectogenesis, a science with far-reaching implications that will change the future of humanity.

Millett's artwork has been exhibited in solo and group shows, including at the Villa Strozzi, Florence; the International Museum of Surgical Science, Chicago; the Exploratorium, San Francisco; and the Mütter Museum, Philadelphia. She is an Embedded Faculty Researcher in the Arts + Design Research Incubator and a Professor of Art in the School of Visual Arts at Penn State.

Cristin Millett Resume

Website: cristin-millett.com

Artwork is available for purchase from our online store. Click here.




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