The subtitle of Anne Boyer’s 2019 memoir, The Undying, reveals much about this book’s emotional and philosophical range: Pain, Vulnerability, Mortality, Medicine, Art, Time, Dreams, Data, Exhaustion, Cancer, and Care. That extensive list need not belie the observation with which Boyer begins her account: “The silence around breast cancer that Lorde once wrote into” has been transformed into a lucrative industry of pink-ribboned “awareness,” even as both legal and medical advances in the United States seem terrifyingly few. As a critic, Boyer pays tribute to many precursors. Of note is her appreciation of the “feminist politics of care” in her review of an exhibit of Spence’s late work, a fitting complement to her own unsparing narrative.
About This Site
A Picture of Health: Jo Spence, a Politics of Disability and Illness is a multi-pronged project curated by Kenny Fries and Elisabeth Frost.
In 1986 the British artist, educator, and activist Jo Spence (1934-1992) described the question fundamental to her work: “how to represent a body in crisis.” Spence’s work reveals powerful political and artistic responses to the experience of inhabiting such a body and is as timely as ever. This website places her work in the context of the lived experience of chronic illness and of contemporary Disability Arts.