At the conference in September, Kim Sawchuk talked about why, in this micro-molecular age, we are still hanging on to the fantasy of travelling inside the anatomical spaces of our own bodies. Kim admits that she herself has become what she calls a ‘biotourist’, a person who visits medical museums in order to experience the sublime and grotesque landscapes of her own body.

Kim pointed out that museums are part of the reproduction of this narrative of fictional travels through the body. She analyzed the fictions offered to the visitor through vectors in terms of their scale; how we are asked to mentally enlarge objects or shrink ourselves in order to understand the different levels of the biology of our bodies, or space; how the visitor’s movement through the exhibition affects her understanding of the things displayed. Read Kim’s full abstract here.


In the discussion afterwards it was said that the notion of the sublime and grotesque and the issue of scale pointed back to a renaissance perspective on the human body. On the other hand there were references to very new exhibitions made just along those lines.

There were comments from Christa Habrich, Robert Bud, Adam Bencard, Claudia Stein, John Durant and Nurin Veis.

See a list of the abstracts here. Read more about the EAMHMS video clip project here.

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