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Blue Apple

Senior Member
Persian (Iran)
Does "intra-venus" in the following context mean "inside vein" or "inside vagina" or is it a pun on both?

In 1994, from January 8 to February 19, the Ronald Feldman gallery exhibited Intra-Venus, ten 71 1/2” x 47 1/2” photographs, Hannah Wilke’s chronicle, between December 17, 1991, and August 19, 1992, of the effects of chemotherapy therapy on her body. She died of lymphoma on Jan. 28, 1993.
These photographs speak of forbidden subjects. They show a woman’s inflamed vagina, a mouth swollen and raw with sores, a partially bandaged torso, its left breast clamped down with IV equipment, and two gauze pads with dollops of bone marrow on them. They show a bald, naked woman getting off a commode; her body sagging forward, she is barely able to stand up (source).
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    My interpretation: Intra is within. Venus is woman. Inside Woman. Specifically, inside this woman – Hannah Wilke.

    We generally view people superficially – how they look, especially how they look when they're groomed and dressed and ready for us to look at them. In Hannah's case, she is dying of cancer, and cancer is often "within" someone – not apparent on the outside to the casual viewer. That's certainly true of lymphoma. Hannah shows us through photographs of herself what the normally hidden interior of herself looks like.
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