'Punctum v. 5'
Ana María Gómez López
Born Minneapolis (US), 1981
Self-experimentation is central in the work of Ana María Gómez López. As a researcher at the Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, she studies the longstanding medical tradition where doctors and other scientists test treatments, remedies, and prototypes on themselves, leading to many important and trail-blazing discoveries. In addition to her archival research in the history of science and related disciplines, the artist (together with specialized medical collaborators) carries out such experiments on herself. For example, she examined whether a botanical organism could survive on her hand with the surface moisture of her skin, a project that led her to successfully plant and germinate a seed in her eye. In her current project Punctum, Gómez López attempts to create an external circulation of blood through artificial means outside of her body.
Gómez López carries this out first by combining existing instruments such as silicone tubes, needles, and other fitted aids that operate together. She produces these tools herself when the correct designs are not available or do not yet exist. In her studio she shows these objects together with a personalized handmade table where she performs her continuous research – her work space may be considered an operating theatre or a laboratory. The embodied research is then carried out within a restricted circle of people, as in an operating theatre: after all, Punctum is not a performance. Gómez López deploys the medical instruments on display alongside other specialized elements to contribute to explo- rations of the human body in relation to an environment, as well as to expand the limits of accepted disciplinary stand- ards and social conventions around this theme.