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Biomedicine in museums

Biotech exhibitions between fascination / fetischism and resignation / hostility

By September 9, 2008No Comments

The Lentos Art Museum in Linz, Austria, has just opened an exhibition called ‘Ecology of Techno Mind’ curated by Slovenian “art-is-the-evil-of-culture” curator Jurij Krpan (thanks to Ingeborg Reichle for the tip). It contains, among other things, an array of art works relating to biotechnology and computerized medicine made in order to “eine Welt im Wandel zu verstehen” [to understand a changing world].

What’s interesting from a medical museum point of view is that the Linz exhibition (according to the website, I haven’t seen it IRL) tries to navigate between “die Total-Faszination von Wissenschaft und Technik” [the total fascination with science and technology] and the “Resignation und Feindseligkeit gegenüber Technik” [resignation and hostility toward technology]; it’s dealing head-on with biotech and medicine but not from the angle of “Fetischismus” or “Romantisieren von Interfaces und elektronischem Kabelsalat”. Sounds like a familiar problem for science, technology and medical museum curators :-). Maybe we could learn something from how Krpan, Director of the Kapelica Gallery in Ljubljana, handles this sensitive issue.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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