Hung Like A Heart is a multi-media kinetic sculptural installation that explores the relationship between the female body and the medical profession.  It juxtaposes objects representing the individual as a distinct entity with those objects found in a medical surgery, forcing these two disparate elements into an equal and interactive relationship.

The installation consists of two main elements.  The first is a series of seven wall-mounted examination stalls.  Inside each stall is a large stainless steel wall hook from which hangs a simulated life-size internal organ. Each organ is “dressed” in antiqued red velvet and fitted with traditional dressmaker’s hardware.  Integrated into each velvet organ is an altered stainless steel surgical instrument.  On the floor beneath each organ is a stainless steel floor plate upon which sits a pair of women’s shoes fitted with metal dance taps.  Framing each organ and pair of shoes are gauzy white curtains hung from semi-circular stainless steel rods.

Located in the centre of the space is a stainless steel operating/examination table.  Lying on a glass side tray attached to the table is a red velvet corset in the process of being dissected.  Above the table, hung from a stainless steel rotation device, is a female figure concealed in a red velvet zippered bag.  As it slowly rotates above the table, long red ribbon-like laces trail down from the figure/bag forming a pool of red ribbon.  Through continuous rotation, the ribbon burnishes a permanent circular mark on the surface of the metal table.  

The soundscape is a continuous hum from the motor of the rotation device.


JOAN KAUFMAN, Hung like a Heart, 1995
Stainless steel, mixed media,  Table 77 x 180 x 77 cm,  Floor plates 36 x 35cm, Wall Hooks 14 x 14 x 35 cm