Mesh and Flesh
Mesh and Flesh

El Centre D’Art La Rectoria in Sant Pere De Vilamajor, Barcelona, Spain

2019

El Centre D’Art La Rectoria in Sant Pere De Vilamajor, Barcelona, Spain

2019

Mesh and Flesh is an abstract visual depiction of the effects that have occurred due to medical device malfunction. As a result of the Medical Device Industry’s thirst for financial prosperity, and neglect of substantial healing and improvement of their products, thousands of medical device patients have turned victim. Some suffer permanent injuries, and others have died.

A large portion of failed medical devices are uncoincidentally made for women. El Centre D’art La Rectoria Art Residency focused on implants made specifically for women’s bodies.

The Vaginal Mesh
The Vaginal Mesh

66cm x 32cm chicken wire, flexible clay, spray paint

2019

The Vaginal Mesh, introduced by the FDA to the medical device market in 2002, is a netlike implant designed primarily to treat incontinence and prolapse in women. Approximately 200,000 women have undergone vaginal mesh implant surgery each year. The mesh is intended to act as a support for weakened organs and tissue of the bladder and vagina. Women instead experience irreversible internal and/or external damage. Internal bleeding, infection, puncturing of delicate tissue, abdominal pain, hysterectomies, bladder loss and even leg amputations have been “side effects” of this surgery. The VMI shrinks, distorts and fuses with bodily tissue and degrades over time because the material (polypropylene) is not inert. If a doctor finally decides to listen to their female patient’s accounts of pain, removing the Vaginal Mesh Implant is akin to removing chewing gum from matted hair.

*Polypropylene is a form of plastic made from polymer. Many doctors tell patients it is not made from plastic, either due to a lack of knowledge or willful dishonesty.

Mesh and Flesh (detail)
Mesh and Flesh (detail)

The FDA prohibited women from participating in clinical trials before the 1990s due to paternalistic reasoning and laziness; varying hormonal states and differences in the body that are “complicated and costly”.

It was not until 1993 that Congress ordered the National Institutes of Health to include women and people of color in all pharmaceutical clinical trials.

It is still not required for Medical Device Companies to comply with this rule

The Essure Implant
The Essure Implant

2.52m x 1.53m metal coil, beach ball, latex rubber medical tubing, liquid rubber, spray paint, varnish

2019

The Essure device, approved by the FDA in 2002 was designed for permanent contraception. A small nickel-titanium metal coil gets shot into the fallopian tubes with a catheter gun. During insertion, clinicians may not be able to identify the opening of the fallopian tube and pierce the coil through the tube, or miss it altogether. Many women end up with 2 or 6 coils floating around in their uterus after several failed attempts at proper placement. The device is meant to trigger the tissue of the fallopian tube to scar up and create a “natural barrier", blocking any sperm from reaching the eggs. Instead, thousands of women are victim to intense abdominal pain, bleeding, uterine perforations and auto immune disease. Some women became pregnant. Many women had to receive full hysterectomies when device explant became too intensive, painful and overall destructive to the tissue and organs.

The Essure Implant (detail)
The Essure Implant (detail)

2.52m x 1.53m metal coil, beach ball, latex rubber medical tubing, liquid rubber, spray paint, varnish

2019

The Medical Device Industry is global, yet, recalls differ extensively from country to country.

In the last ten years, the USA recalled over 26,700 devices, Canada, over 8,300 and India with just 14 known recalls (statistics from 2013-2017, when data was last available)

*A Recall does not always mean a product ceases to be used. Sometimes it means the product is being checked, adjusted or fixed.

The Essure Implant (detail)
The Essure Implant (detail)

2.52m x 1.53m metal coil, beach ball, latex rubber medical tubing, liquid rubber, spray paint, varnish

2019

The Essure Implant II
The Essure Implant II

90cm x 51cm shower curtain, resin, metal coil

2019

The Essure Implant II (detail)
The Essure Implant II (detail)

90cm x 51cm shower curtain, resin, metal coil

2019

99% of approved devices never have to provide clinical data of functionality or safety because of the 510(k) process, or “pre-market notification”, claiming that an untested device is the new, updated version of a pre-existing device that had already been tested and approved by the FDA in previous years. This lets device industries avoid “unnecessary costs and delays”

The Essure Implant II (detail)
The Essure Implant II (detail)

90cm x 51cm shower curtain, resin, metal coil

2019

Women tend to have more side effects from drugs and medical devices, because they are not tested or manufactured with women in mind.

Mesh and Flesh (detail)
Mesh and Flesh (detail)

There have been over 1.7 million injuries and 83,000 deaths linked to medical device failures in the United States in the last decade.

The Vaginal Mesh II
The Vaginal Mesh II

149cm x 33cm chicken wire, flexible clay, sprayable rubber, spray paint

2019

Black women are 3-4 times more likely to die in childbirth in the USA.

The Vaginal Mesh II
The Vaginal Mesh II

149cm x 33cm chicken wire, flexible clay, sprayable rubber, spray paint

2019

Men dominate 85% of the medical device industry.

The Vaginal Mesh II (detail)
The Vaginal Mesh II (detail)

149cm x 33cm chicken wire, flexible clay, sprayable rubber, spray paint

2019

In 2018 it took the FDA approximately 70 days to approve a new device, compared to approximately 300 days in 1996.

The Vaginal Mesh II (detail)
The Vaginal Mesh II (detail)

149cm x 33cm chicken wire, flexible clay, sprayable rubber, spray paint

2019

Shortly after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, federal funding supported coerced sterilization. Some Black women were threatened with denial of medical care or termination of Welfare benefits if they did not undergo sterilization.

The Vaginal Mesh II (detail)
The Vaginal Mesh II (detail)

149cm x 33cm chicken wire, flexible clay, sprayable rubber, spray paint

2019

The Fanny Piss Pouch ™️
The Fanny Piss Pouch ™️

1.9m x 60cm x 40cm mannequin, polyethylene, water, acrylic paint, latex rubber medical tubing, spray paint, liquid rubber

2019

For Vaginal Mesh patients, this colostomy fanny pack was designed for those who have lost their bladders as a result of the mesh implant. Don’t let your lack of a bladder get in the way of your style, ladies!

The Fanny Piss Pouch ™️
The Fanny Piss Pouch ™️

1.9m x 60cm x 40cm mannequin, polyethylene, water, acrylic paint, latex rubber medical tubing, spray paint, liquid rubber

2019

Europe does not make incident reports public.

Mesh and Flesh
The Vaginal Mesh
Mesh and Flesh (detail)
The Essure Implant
The Essure Implant (detail)
The Essure Implant (detail)
The Essure Implant II
The Essure Implant II (detail)
The Essure Implant II (detail)
Mesh and Flesh (detail)
The Vaginal Mesh II
The Vaginal Mesh II
The Vaginal Mesh II (detail)
The Vaginal Mesh II (detail)
The Vaginal Mesh II (detail)
The Fanny Piss Pouch ™️
The Fanny Piss Pouch ™️
Mesh and Flesh

El Centre D’Art La Rectoria in Sant Pere De Vilamajor, Barcelona, Spain

2019

El Centre D’Art La Rectoria in Sant Pere De Vilamajor, Barcelona, Spain

2019

Mesh and Flesh is an abstract visual depiction of the effects that have occurred due to medical device malfunction. As a result of the Medical Device Industry’s thirst for financial prosperity, and neglect of substantial healing and improvement of their products, thousands of medical device patients have turned victim. Some suffer permanent injuries, and others have died.

A large portion of failed medical devices are uncoincidentally made for women. El Centre D’art La Rectoria Art Residency focused on implants made specifically for women’s bodies.

The Vaginal Mesh

66cm x 32cm chicken wire, flexible clay, spray paint

2019

The Vaginal Mesh, introduced by the FDA to the medical device market in 2002, is a netlike implant designed primarily to treat incontinence and prolapse in women. Approximately 200,000 women have undergone vaginal mesh implant surgery each year. The mesh is intended to act as a support for weakened organs and tissue of the bladder and vagina. Women instead experience irreversible internal and/or external damage. Internal bleeding, infection, puncturing of delicate tissue, abdominal pain, hysterectomies, bladder loss and even leg amputations have been “side effects” of this surgery. The VMI shrinks, distorts and fuses with bodily tissue and degrades over time because the material (polypropylene) is not inert. If a doctor finally decides to listen to their female patient’s accounts of pain, removing the Vaginal Mesh Implant is akin to removing chewing gum from matted hair.

*Polypropylene is a form of plastic made from polymer. Many doctors tell patients it is not made from plastic, either due to a lack of knowledge or willful dishonesty.

Mesh and Flesh (detail)

The FDA prohibited women from participating in clinical trials before the 1990s due to paternalistic reasoning and laziness; varying hormonal states and differences in the body that are “complicated and costly”.

It was not until 1993 that Congress ordered the National Institutes of Health to include women and people of color in all pharmaceutical clinical trials.

It is still not required for Medical Device Companies to comply with this rule

The Essure Implant

2.52m x 1.53m metal coil, beach ball, latex rubber medical tubing, liquid rubber, spray paint, varnish

2019

The Essure device, approved by the FDA in 2002 was designed for permanent contraception. A small nickel-titanium metal coil gets shot into the fallopian tubes with a catheter gun. During insertion, clinicians may not be able to identify the opening of the fallopian tube and pierce the coil through the tube, or miss it altogether. Many women end up with 2 or 6 coils floating around in their uterus after several failed attempts at proper placement. The device is meant to trigger the tissue of the fallopian tube to scar up and create a “natural barrier", blocking any sperm from reaching the eggs. Instead, thousands of women are victim to intense abdominal pain, bleeding, uterine perforations and auto immune disease. Some women became pregnant. Many women had to receive full hysterectomies when device explant became too intensive, painful and overall destructive to the tissue and organs.

The Essure Implant (detail)

2.52m x 1.53m metal coil, beach ball, latex rubber medical tubing, liquid rubber, spray paint, varnish

2019

The Medical Device Industry is global, yet, recalls differ extensively from country to country.

In the last ten years, the USA recalled over 26,700 devices, Canada, over 8,300 and India with just 14 known recalls (statistics from 2013-2017, when data was last available)

*A Recall does not always mean a product ceases to be used. Sometimes it means the product is being checked, adjusted or fixed.

The Essure Implant (detail)

2.52m x 1.53m metal coil, beach ball, latex rubber medical tubing, liquid rubber, spray paint, varnish

2019

The Essure Implant II

90cm x 51cm shower curtain, resin, metal coil

2019

The Essure Implant II (detail)

90cm x 51cm shower curtain, resin, metal coil

2019

99% of approved devices never have to provide clinical data of functionality or safety because of the 510(k) process, or “pre-market notification”, claiming that an untested device is the new, updated version of a pre-existing device that had already been tested and approved by the FDA in previous years. This lets device industries avoid “unnecessary costs and delays”

The Essure Implant II (detail)

90cm x 51cm shower curtain, resin, metal coil

2019

Women tend to have more side effects from drugs and medical devices, because they are not tested or manufactured with women in mind.

Mesh and Flesh (detail)

There have been over 1.7 million injuries and 83,000 deaths linked to medical device failures in the United States in the last decade.

The Vaginal Mesh II

149cm x 33cm chicken wire, flexible clay, sprayable rubber, spray paint

2019

Black women are 3-4 times more likely to die in childbirth in the USA.

The Vaginal Mesh II

149cm x 33cm chicken wire, flexible clay, sprayable rubber, spray paint

2019

Men dominate 85% of the medical device industry.

The Vaginal Mesh II (detail)

149cm x 33cm chicken wire, flexible clay, sprayable rubber, spray paint

2019

In 2018 it took the FDA approximately 70 days to approve a new device, compared to approximately 300 days in 1996.

The Vaginal Mesh II (detail)

149cm x 33cm chicken wire, flexible clay, sprayable rubber, spray paint

2019

Shortly after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, federal funding supported coerced sterilization. Some Black women were threatened with denial of medical care or termination of Welfare benefits if they did not undergo sterilization.

The Vaginal Mesh II (detail)

149cm x 33cm chicken wire, flexible clay, sprayable rubber, spray paint

2019

The Fanny Piss Pouch ™️

1.9m x 60cm x 40cm mannequin, polyethylene, water, acrylic paint, latex rubber medical tubing, spray paint, liquid rubber

2019

For Vaginal Mesh patients, this colostomy fanny pack was designed for those who have lost their bladders as a result of the mesh implant. Don’t let your lack of a bladder get in the way of your style, ladies!

The Fanny Piss Pouch ™️

1.9m x 60cm x 40cm mannequin, polyethylene, water, acrylic paint, latex rubber medical tubing, spray paint, liquid rubber

2019

Europe does not make incident reports public.

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