Top: Using a drip-cloth to put a woman in labor under anesthesia. Second: Gauze-filled face-piece used in the same manner as the drip-cloth (by soaking the covering material). Third: Automatic pressurized ether gas administration mask. Fourth: Manual ether gas administration mask.
The early anesthesia gasses consisted of nitrous oxide (laughing gas), ether, and chloroform. Ether was the most effective in putting people under, and had the largest therapeutic index (the difference between the recommended dosage and a toxic overdose), but had significant side-effects (such as nausea and vomiting, even before consciousness was regained, resulting in aspiration), and suppressed the autonomic breathing reflex in high enough concentrations.
Today, the only one of the three original anesthetic gasses that is still in use is nitrous oxide. It’s generally used along with local anesthetic, since it is not of the best use in causing complete unconsciousness, but its action on the brain decreases discomfort whilst awake.
Images: An American Text-Book of Obstetrics for Practitioners and Students. Edited by Richard C. Norris, 1895. High-Grade Hospital Furniture and Appliances Catalog. Max Wocher & Son, 1905.
Do Not Abandon Me is a collaboration between Louise Bourgeois and Tracey Emin consisting of sixteen intimate works made over the past two years. These drawings articulate physical drives and feelings, candidly confronting themes of identity, sexuality and the fear of loss and abandonment through joint expression.
This series originated with Bourgeois, who began the works by painting male and female torsos in profile on paper, mixing red, blue and black gouache pigments with water to create delicate and fluid silhouettes. Bourgeois then passed the images on to Emin, who later confessed: ‘I carried the images around the world with me from Australia to France, but I was too scared to touch them’. Emin overlaid Bourgeois’s forms with fantasy, drawing smaller figures that engaged with the torsos like Lilliputian lovers, enacting the body’s desires and anxieties. In one, a woman kisses an erect phallus; in another, a small fetus-like form protrudes from a swollen belly. In many, Emin’s handwriting inscribes the images with a narrative, putting into words the emotions expressed in Bourgeois’s vibrant gouaches.
This suite of prints was one of the last projects Louise Bourgeois completed before her death. They were then printed at Dye-namix studio in New York with archival dyes on cloth in an edition of 18 sets with 6 artist proofs. The exhibition travels to Hauser & Wirth from Carolina Nitsch Project Room, New York, and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.