The Artful Brain Conference: Brains as objects. Mind as Matter - Marius Kwint (Portsmouth)
This presentation is not so much about how the brain perceives or constructs art, but how art constructs and represents the brain. It will offer the perspective of the guest curator (an art historian) on the making of the Wellcome Collection exhibition Brains: the Mind as Matter, which showed to considerable publicity and popularity in London in 2012 and is currently exhibiting in Manchester at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). The Brains exhibition does not primarily attempt to explain brain function, but to view the brain as a material object made meaningful through the history of scientific, technological, artistic and cultural practices, and representation. It concentrates on the brain as a physical presence, both embodied and disembodied, and the modes of collecting, preservation, imaging and direct intervention that it has undergone. This account will look behind the scenes at the research and production process for the exhibition, also suggest future avenues for investigating the relationship between the brain as a figure and visual and material culture.