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Sugar Walls Teardom

Tabita Rezaire
Sugar Walls Teardom, 2016
Gynaecological chair, mechanical arm and HD video
Work: 218 x 162 x 85 cm

Sugar Walls Teardom explores the contributions of Black womxn’s wombs to the advancement of modern medical science and technology. On Sugar Walls Teardom, Rezaire writes, ‘During slavery, Black womxn’s bodies have been used and abused as commodities for laborious work in plantations, sexual slavery, reproductive exploitation and medical experiments. Anarcha, Betsey and Lucy, were among the captive guinea pigs of Dr. Marion Sims - the so called ‘father of modern gynecology’- who mutilated and tortured countless slave womxn in the name of science. Unacknowledged, Black womxn’s wombs have been central to the biomedical economy as the story of Henrietta Lacks – who had her cervix cells unknowingly stolen, after which they became the first immortal cells leading to medical breakthrough - reminds us. Biological warfare against Black womxn is still pervasive in today’s pharmaceutical testing, forced sterilizations, contraceptive experiments, among other malicious health practices.’ Sugar Walls Teardom commemorates ‘herstory’ and celebrates womb technology through an account of coercive anatomic politics. Rezaire asks, ‘Whose body is exploitable? By who? For who?’ Sugar Walls Teardom pays homage to these womxn - their contributions have not been forgotten.