spareparts.exchange: Rahim and Robert, Stitched Together in Silence (Creative Intervention)

  • Monir Moniruzzaman Michigan State University
  • Camille Turner York University
  • Heather Dewey-Hagborg School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Jim Ruxton Subtle Technologies
Keywords: globalization, medical tourism, organ trafficking, art installation

Abstract

Spare Parts (spareparts.exchange) is an art installation created collaboratively by Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Jim Ruxton, Camille Turner, and Monir Moniruzzaman. Based on Monir Moniruzzaman’s ethnographic research on the illicit organ trade, Spare Parts explores the ethics of organ trafficking and the emergence of bodily inequality in times of transplant tinkering. In this installation, the viewer is confronted with life sized video projections of Rahim Sheikh, a Bangladeshi kidney seller and Robert Zurrer, a Canadian kidney transplant recipient/buyer, whose kidneys were commodified in the marketplace. The video projections are installed so that the individuals sit in silence facing each other.  Spare Parts highlights the intimacy of spare parts, the economy of the global marketplace, the perils of techno-medicine, and what is means to be human in the 21st century. The installation captures that the buying and selling of body parts is not just a market transaction, but rather represents the desperation, dis/connection, and inequality that exists in the trade.

Author Biography

Monir Moniruzzaman, Michigan State University

Assistant Professor

Department of Anthropology and

Center for Ethics and Humanities in Life Sciences

 

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Published
2016-12-19
Section
Consuming Intimacies: Bodies, Labour, Care, and Social Justice