Darian Goldin Stahl is a Print-Media Artist currently residing in Montreal, where she is a PhD student in Humanities at Concordia University. Darian’s arts-based research focuses on the intersections between medical imagining technologies, patient narrative, and printmaking. She also recently completed an eight-month scholarship residency at Malaspina Printmakers in Vancouver, British Columbia. Darian received her MFA in Printmaking from the University of Alberta in 2015, and her BFA in Printmaking at Indiana University Bloomington in 2011.
My work focuses on the complex emotions that accompany the patient experience of being medically scanned in a hospital. I am motivated by the desire to understand how our sense of self has been transformed as a result of our entanglements with biomedical imaging technologies. This work is also guided by the ethical desire to instigate meaningful collaborations with those whose subjectivities are being shaped by the experience of illness; and finally to see what role aesthetics can play to foster interdisciplinary collaborations between art and medicine. This arts-based research is a joint cycle of informing and reconstructing identity with my sister, Devan Stahl, who is a Clinical Bioethicist at Michigan State University and has multiple sclerosis.
This print-based artwork combines my sister’s MRI scans, hospital gowns, and domestic spaces to represent the uneasy relationship between a likely future of impairment and continuing her daily life in the present. My printmaking process begins by photographing standard hospital gowns that are twisted, falling, or crumpled, gestures that point to the anxiety ones feels while wearing the garment. Next, I combine the gown imagery with MRI scans and photographs of domestic spaces to reflect how the memories of being scanned follow the patient far beyond the hospital doors.
By re-contextualizing medical scans through I fine art lens that humanizes their anonymous and alienating qualities, I aim to restore a sense of agency over medicalized body. I am most interested in untangling the tension between flat, sterile, and diminutive internal scans and the living, three-dimensional body they are meant to serve. I aim for viewers to identify with this figure, and come to find that we all carry anxiety about the functionality of our bodies and, more broadly, our mortality. When audiences see my work, even though they do not know my sister, they feel her and are filled with a shared, connecting reflection over the state of our ever-failing bodies.
To see more of Darian’s work, please visit her website: www.dariangoldinstahl.com