Brainstorm (集思廣益)

22 01 2011

The exhibition Brainstorm: investigating the brain through art & science at GV Art in London has been called by a politician as “degrading”, “disrespectful” and “unacceptable.”

This work titled Headache by Helen Pynor is one of many that showcase brains in different ways, from films of neurological examinations to actual human brain tissues. GV Art in London is one of the few places licensed to display human tissue in Britain.

To the politician’s concerns, Dr. Dexter, scientific director of the Joint Multiple Sclerosis Society and Parkinson’s UK Tissue Bank responded in an editorial in the Guardian:

Would we have had such a reactionary response to an art exhibition about the kidney and kidney disease? What is it about the brain that generates such an exaggerated reaction? Is it because the brain is the organ we use to think?…

Brain slices from previous neuropathological examinations are used in the human section of the display at GV Art. They are there not only to educate the public about what a brain looks like and how it can be affected by disease, but also to contextualise where some of the art work originated. Art has a significant role to play in science as a tool for communicating to the public what the scientist sees in the laboratory, in a form that can be understood by everyone…

You don’t go about demystifying the brain by locking it away in a laboratory, but by appropriately involving it in widely accessible media like art. This exhibition is a bold step in the right direction.

[via Guardian via Mr. Ross]

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