Brains: the mind as a matter

The Wellcome Collection looks set to continue to charter its niche, peculiar and brilliant exhibition territory next year, following the announcement of Brains: the mind as a matter.

Head Ache by Helen Pynor
Head Ache by Helen Pynor

Billed as an exploration of ‘what humans have done to brains in the cause of medical intervention, scientific enquiry, cultural meaning and technological change,’ it will feature 150 objects, including disembodied brains.

Electrode headboard, 1958
Electrode headboard, 1958

Contemporary artists including Helen Pryor, Andrew Carnie, Annie Cattrell and Susan Aldworth will have work displayed alongside artifacts including a piece of Albert Einstein’s brain.

Sir Charles Bell, The Anatomy of the Brain
Sir Charles Bell, The Anatomy of the Brain

The exhibition, divided into four separate lobes explores Measuring / Classifying, Cutting / Treating, Giving / Taking , and Mapping / Modelling.

T Willis, Cerebri Anatome
T Willis, Cerebri Anatome

The later includes Brainbow, images of nerve cells by Jeff Lichtman which organisers say shows ‘the artistic drive to apprehend the complexities of the brain.’

Specimen jar containing piece of brain, 1821
Specimen jar containing piece of brain, 1821

Marius Kwint, guest curator says, ‘Brains shows how a single, fragile organ has become the object of modern society’s most profound hopes, fears and beliefs, and some of its most extreme practices and advanced technologies. The different ways in which we have treated and represented real, physical brains open up a lot of questions about our collective minds.’

Head divided into four cerebral lobes
Head divided into four cerebral lobes

Brains: the mind as matter runs from 29 March -17 June 2012 at Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, NW1

Latest articles