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New art exhibit at APSU examines bioethical dilemmas of modern medical technology

1/5/2012

            CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – In recent years, Nashville artist Adrienne Outlaw has experienced a growing sense of unease with the rapid advances being made in medical technology. Her apprehension is reflected in works such as her “Fecund Series,” which requires viewers to gaze into breast-like funnels to see eerily quiet videos, such as a sonogram of a fetus’ beating heart.

            “For the first time in history, there is knowledge available to mothers which forces them to make life or death decisions whether to carry a disfigured, malformed or unintentional fetus to term, whether to use pharmaceuticals with their associated risks and whether to risk passing on genetic diseases,” Outlaw said. “In these situations, we are no longer able to rely on long-established religious, societal or medical expertise for guidance, and too often, we only grapple with such problems at the time of crisis.”

           This month, Outlaw is making her concerns public with a new exhibit she is curating at Austin Peay State University’s Trahern Gallery, “TAKE CARE: Biomedical Ethics in the Twenty-first Century.” The exhibition, which features works by nine female artists, opens with a lecture at 5 p.m. and reception to follow at 6 p.m. on Jan. 17 and runs through Feb. 5. The show is free and open to the public.

            The works included in the show consider, according to Outlaw, “civilization’s unease with modern family planning, maternal and fetal care, childbirth and child rearing.”

            “The ‘TAKE CARE’ show highlights these bioethical dilemmas, with the hope that viewers will take the opportunity to better appreciate the complexity of these personal decisions in a rapidly changing world,” Outlaw said.

            The artists featured in this exhibit include Outlaw, Annette Gates, Kristina Arnold, Sher Fick, Lindsay Obermeyer, Monica Bock, Sadie Ruben, Jeanette May and Libby Rowe. For more information on the show, contact Paul Collins, APSU assistant professor of art and Trahern Gallery director, at collinsp@apsu.edu.