X-rays turn art into illustration of terror

Traveling exhibit uses victims' medical images to draw attention to terrorism's toll.

By Myrle Croasdale — Posted Nov. 5, 2007

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A wristwatch lies implanted in a jugular vein, hex nuts pepper a hip and a solitary nail rests parallel to a patient's spine.

These are just a few of a number of images created from terrorist victims' x-rays that are part of the touring art exhibit "Inside Terrorism: The X-Ray Project," accessible online (link).

Diane Covert, the photographer behind the project, said although the images were gathered from doctors in Israel, her goal was to create a body of work that focused on the impact of terror on individuals, regardless of their nationality, race or ethnicity. She wanted to build awareness of terror victims -- not the perpetrators, who she believes get too much attention.

The x-ray images were created as diagnostic tools, yet Covert sees them as portraits: "Doctors are inadvertently documenting this age of terror. ... Each image shows the worst that people can do and the very best in a single image."

Observers' responses have been overwhelmingly positive, she said.

"Physicians have really liked it," Covert said, recalling that one radiologist with extensive trauma experience told her some of the injuries were the worst he had ever seen.

Rebecca Rakow-Penner, a third-year medical student at Stanford University School of Medicine in California, helped bring the exhibit to campus. Rakow-Penner described the images as "shocking and disturbing." She said they also made her realize that though doctors are busy, it is important to take time out and focus on current events.

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Traveling exhibit

"Inside Terrorism: The X-Ray Project" will be at:

San Jose State University, Calif. Nov. 4-16

Schoolhouse Theater, Crofton Falls, N.Y., Feb. 15-March 8

University of Maryland, College Park, March 3-15

Brown University; Rhode Island School of Design, joint exhibit in Providence, March 17-April 11

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External links

"Inside Terrorism: The X-Ray Project" (link)

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