Journal of Medical Humanities 25 (1):21-32 (2004)

Recent theoretical analyses of domestic violence have posited the complicity of medical communities in erasing and obfuscating the cause of injuries. Although medical cultures have engaged in progressive initiatives to address and treat domestic violence, these medical and clinical models can render domestic violence invisible by framing the battered woman as evidentiary object. By analyzing this invisibility of domestic violence through the concept of public secrecy, in this article I consider Kiki Smith's 1982 installation piece Life Wants to Live. Using medical technologies, Smith's installation offers the viewer a vision of domestic violence that recognizes its inherently problematic invisibility and emphasizes the importance of lived, bodily experience
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DOI 10.1023/B:JOMH.0000007448.57402.46
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