Look What They’ve Done to My Brain, Ma
A real human brain is on display… as an art exhibit.
Consider the human brain. An exhibition in London offers a real human brain — from the artist’s point-of-view — alongside a film of a neuropathologist performing a “brain cut up.”
The brain. Home of the mind, creative impulse, and some would say the soul. Presented by GV Art, seven artists consider the human brain using sculpture, painting, drawing, etching, photography, and scientific materials.
London’s contemporary art gallery, GV Art, aims to explore the inter-relationship between art and science and how these areas cross over and inform one another. GV ART is the only private gallery in England to hold a Human Tissue Authority License for Public Display and Storage.
The exhibition is called Brain Storm and features the actual brain of a deceased multiple sclerosis patient. Visitors are able to see first-hand the destruction multiple sclerosis causes to the human brain. According to The Daily Mail, the family consented to the public display but chose to remain anonymous. The publication also reports that critics question the decency of the display in the name of art and find it degrading.
“Conservative MP David Amess, a former member of the health select committee, told the Evening Standard: ‘It’s one thing if this is done in a laboratory, but it’s degrading to put body parts on display in a public place. In my personal opinion, this is a disrespectful way to treat the human body and is unacceptable.’
But Dr Dexter today rejected claims that it was in bad taste to display the brain, which will be sent back to The Tissue Bank for research.
He said: ‘There’s a lot of mystique about the brain and this raises awareness about what happens when someone has a disease like MS.’”
Is this type of public exhibition a powerful educational tool or just plain degrading to the human body? Would you donate your own brain to such a cause… the brain of a loved one?