Narrative Remains

Ingham, Karen (2009) Narrative Remains. UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

The central work of this project was an installation that combined anatomical objects, vitrines, photography and text, alongside a twelve-minute film, exhibited at the Royal College of Surgeons Hunterian Museum, London, 2009. Ingham was invited by Hunterian Director Simon Chaplin to create an artistic response to the museum’s collection of human organs, employed in medical teaching practice. The research continued Ingham’s interest in creating alternative forms and meanings using historical and contemporary medical technologies. Here she focused on the potential for meaning in the anonymised organs, following the loss of identity they undergo through scientific objectification, e.g., donors’ names replaced by numbers. Photography, text and vitrine were used to redress the loss of identity in relation to six human anatomical specimens, selected by Ingham from John Hunter’s eighteenth-century collection of specimens. The specimens were exhibited in jars and placed in specially-made vitrines. With each vitrine, the background carried a photographic image of the corresponding body area, and the front glass bore a text written by Ingham. The texts were semi-fictional accounts written for each specimen from the point of view of the donor, imagining their thoughts at the prospect of surrendering the organ. The layering of photograph, specimen, jar, and text, and their movement in relation to one another as one walked around the vitrine, gave the specimen a new narrative and a literal ‘remembering’ in relation to the body. A film featuring images of the organs and body parts, with narration of the texts, was also available as another layer for projection onto the vitrines, and also as a stand-alone film. The project was funded by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award. There were accompanying public engagement events, conferences and subsequent exhibitions and screenings, which are ongoing. The film is part of the Wellcome Collection, making it freely available worldwide.

Item Type: Other
Additional Information: Citation: Ingham, K. Narrative Remains.
Uncontrolled Keywords: art, anatomy, museology, public engagement, history of medicine, installation
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Wales Institute for Science & Art (WISA) > Academic Discipline: Art & Media
Depositing User: John Dalling
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2013 15:29
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 16:13
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/296

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