Radiotherapy masks, 2010-2011

While working at the Alexis Vautrin Centre of cancer research, the staff wanted to share me the bone-chilling sensation which the immobilization masks room offer. Directly moulded on patients, they are used to keep them steady during radiotherapy sessions. Those customised straightjacket consist of thermosettable plastic and kevlar – same kevlar used in the making of flak jackets. Supposedly unbreakable, that specific matter tends to distort and melt at sunlight … just like Icarus' wax-made wings.
Effigies or transis ; straightjacket or cocoon ; survival armours or sarcophagi ; flak jackets ; chainmail ; rigor mortis ; gargoyles … such were my impressions when first enterring the masks room.
I instantly had to adopt the patient' same position during the time I was getting prepared my own moulding.
Violence of the soft and hot meshes which stiffen and cool down in a just a time. Feeling of oppression increased by the bolting at the treatment table. Weakness expanded by the lying position and by the cold-looking environment and gear.
The Centre has graciously let me use their equipment so I could create my first mouldings out of living subjects. Thereafter, I got my workshop equipped with some recycled radiotherapy gear.

Thanks to :
Alexis Vautrin Centre for cancer research in Nancy and to Fleur, Isabelle, Armelle, Xavier and doctor Peiffert in particular.
Bebig society and to Françoise Chanblon in particular.
Qualimedis group and especially to Pierre-Xavier Ribot in particular.