Cecily Fergeson

​I make work in a variety of media, largely dealing with the imagery and material of the human body. My current work attempts to reckon with the following subjects: a reclamation of the notion of the so-called medical gaze and its historical record in photography; the idea that receiving the medical gaze transforms patients’ bodies; the idea of illness as an uncanny and intimate experience; and, finally, the act of metaphorically retracing the body’s material journey through the medical institution as it exists today. I make this work in the context of a recent observation of surgery and my personal history with chronic illness.


In my practice, I find, make, and remake images of fragile bodies. When I do not photograph or construct these bodies myself, I appropriate images from various collections, public and private, of the Western archives of medical photography. My work shades blue and violet what once existed in sepia and grayscale. Through the gesture of drawing, I attempt to symbolically rebury medicalized bodies exposed by the archive. The goal of my work is to transform these scenes of disease, control, and physical holding between patients and caregivers – often so othered by age – from spaces to be looked at, to spaces the viewer must look into.


​If you are interested in reading my master's thesis, it can be found at:

https://openscholarship.wustl.edu/samfox_art_etds/101/