In their work, Gift to the World: Jonas Salk and the Development of the Polio Vaccine, Martha Rosler and Josh Neufeld depict Dr. Jonas Salk’s journey, from a poor child in the Bronx, New York, to one of the most celebrated scientists of the past century. The duo use Salk’s personal quotes – which underscore his deep commitment to humanity – to tell the story of how he developed the inactivated polio vaccine, heralded as an historic breakthrough at a time when thousands of American children were paralysed by polio every year. When his vaccine was deemed a success in 1955, Salk famously said that it belonged to the people. “There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?” Martha and Josh tell their story against the background of a drop of water as its energy ripples outward. Salk’s vaccine is now being used to put a final stop to polio around the world.
“We wanted to tell the story of Jonas Salk, the dedicated medical researcher whose efforts set the world on track to save children everywhere from the deadly disease of polio.”
Martha Rosler works in various media, including photography, video and collage. Her work focuses on the public sphere and the landscapes of everyday life, with an eye to women’s experience. In 2012 she staged the performance-event Meta-Monumental Garage Sale at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Her banner project Theater of Drones, first seen in Charlottesville, VA, is now on view in Gijón, Spain.
Josh Neufeld is a Brooklyn-based cartoonist known for his nonfiction narratives of political and social upheaval, told through the voices of witnesses. Josh has been an Atlantic Center for the Arts Master Artist, a Knight-Wallace Fellow in journalism, and a Xeric Award winner. His works include A.D: New Orleans After the Deluge, about Hurricane Katrina. Martha and Josh are mother and son and have collaborated on several public projects.
Lean more about Martha Rosler and Josh Neufeld.