Parallax, a story in two parts

Wright, A. 2020. Parallax, a story in two parts. in: Tammer el Sheikh (ed.) Entangled Bodies: Art, Identity and Intercorporeality Wilmington, USA Vernon Press. pp. 64 - 90

Chapter titleParallax, a story in two parts
AuthorsWright, A.
EditorsTammer el Sheikh
Abstract

The chapter is made up of two fictional conversations, one between members of a donor family, the other a heart transplant recipient and partner. The work is informed by research interviews with donor families and recipients. Each section is preceded by a full page photograph.

Organ transplantation is a medical innovation that has offered the potential to enhance and save lives since the first successful procedure in the 1950s. Subsequent developments in scientific knowledge and advances in surgical techniques have allowed for more efficient and refined procurement, minimal surgical complications, and increased success rate. However, procedures such as organ transplantation raise questions about the nature of our relationship with our own bodies; about our embodiment and personal and corporeal identity.

This book is comprised of academic essays, personal reflections, and creative writing from researchers and artists involved in an ongoing collaborative art-science project about the experience and culture of heart transplantation. The writings and reflections included discuss embodiment, what it means to inhabit a body and define oneself in relation to it, including struggles with identity formation; set in both clinical and private spaces.

The uniqueness of this volume consists in the authors’ aim of connecting the specific experience of heart transplantation to the more widely shared experience of relating to the world and one another through the body’s physical, perceived, and imagined boundaries. Such boundaries and the commonly held beliefs in personal autonomy that are associated with them are a subject of ongoing philosophical and scientific debate. What’s more, the resources of art and culture, including popular culture, literature, historical and contemporary art, are extremely useful in revising our views of what it means for the body’s boundaries to be philosophically ‘leaky.’

Following the discussion initiated by contributor Margrit Shildrick, this book contributes to the field of inquiry of the phenomenon of embodiment and inter-corporeality, the growing body of literature emerging from collaborative art-science research projects, and the wider area of disability studies. This book will be of particular interest to those with personal, scholarly, and creative interests in the experience of transplantation, or illness in general.

KeywordsInterdisciplinary; heart transplant; wellbeing; photo-text; art-science; narrative; dialogue
Book titleEntangled Bodies: Art, Identity and Intercorporeality
Page range64 - 90
Year2020
PublisherVernon Press
Publication dates
Published14 May 2020
Place of publicationWilmington, USA
ISBN9781622738335
Web address (URL)https://vernonpress.com/book/893#.XspbFqZbYGU

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