Nature Morte is our series of medical objects and devices re-imagined as objects of beauty. While the French nature morte literally translated to English is “dead nature,” it’s meaning in English is “still life.” These photographs portray medical objects used by cancer patients in their treatment and recovery. This is our 21st century illustration of the still life theme vanitas, or brevity of life, by showing objects that are meant to prolong life that is subject to greater brevity when there is a cancer diagnosis. These objects are literally mechanically used to sustain life, but they’re not life sustaining the way a gourmet meal or a sunset at the beach or a moving piece of music are. While these life-sustaining inanimate objects play an important role for those that use them, when taken out of context, they take on another form, one that is no longer closely attached to their function. The play of light, shape and pattern can make objects that once might have induced distress become abstract and almost whimsical forms, open to new interpretation.
This is an ongoing series. All objects photographed here have been provided by Cancer Shift participants.