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From solo exhibition: Daughters of Uranium, 2019-2020

Canvas, plastic, metal [Collection of the artist]

Fabrication assistance by Alison Mercer, The Military Museums, Calgary;

Original garment (1955-59) in the Collection of the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa

“Defence researchers often used animals to investigate the effects of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons on humans. This suit was custom-made for a pig, an animal whose skin, hair follicles, sweat glands, and fat composition are similar to those of people.” CWM

 

Animals as proxies for humans have long served as research subjects in medical testing and experimentation. During the First and Second World Wars and throughout the Cold War, the United States and other Allied nations conducted chemical, biological and nuclear experiments on non-consenting subjects as part of the militarization of medicine and the medicalization of war. Historically, the burden of medical research and medical advancement has been borne by the most vulnerable populations including soldiers, prisoners, children, the mentally ill, the poor and the racially marginalized. 

PIG SUIT

MARY KAVANAGH   © 2023 Mary Kavanagh