Red Rack of Those Ravaged and Unconsenting, 2018

Basel 2018
stainless steel bars, fluorescent lights, wiring, silicone, insulation foam, glass beads, fiberglass insulation, steel meat hooks, steel pins, pearls
162.6 x 288.9 x 81.3 (cm)
64.0 x 113.8 x 32.0 (inch)
Garner’s sculpture and performance work engages the history of medical experimentation on black women’s bodies in America. By refusing to relegate this history into a depoliticized record of the past, Garner emphasizes the problematic relationship of medicine and race that persists today. "Red Rack of Those Ravaged and Unconsenting" considers the career of Dr. James Marion Sims, the "father of modern gynecology" who performed vaginal surgeries on enslaved women without administering anesthesia, falsely claiming in his medical journals that black women have a higher tolerance for pain and that anesthetics hadn't been invented at the time of his experiments. "Red Rack of Those Ravaged and Unconsenting," 2018, is a large metallic structure lined with red fluorescent bulbs. Dangling from hooks at its center are multiple oblong sculptures made of silicone body parts sutured together with staples, marbleized silicone, expanding foam, fiberglass insulation, a protective layer of sharp needles, and an array of meticulously arranged beads. Garner is committed to portraying an abjection of the black body that speaks to the actual lived experience of black people and is often omitted from Art History.