Jim Bond, 2005
Understandings of the human body are created by the different practices through which the body is classified, taken apart and assembled.
How do we know and experience our bodies? How does the way we understand the human body reflect and influence our relations with others? Assembling Bodies reveals and challenges preconceived notions of the human body by exploring some of the different ways that bodies are imagined and understood in the arts, social and bio-medical sciences.
The displays are drawn from the extraordinarily rich and diverse collections within the Museum, the University and the Colleges, complemented by external loans and exciting contemporary artworks. They include Bronze Age burials and Pacific funerary effigies, classical sculpture and kinetic artworks, medieval manuscripts and scientific instruments, anatomical drawings and bio-medical equipment. Moving through this diverse gathering of objects, you see how different techniques for making bodies visible bring new and often unexpected forms into focus.
There are many pathways through the gallery, and through this website. The exhibits are grouped in overlapping thematic zones, each containing clusters of artworks, instruments and ideas. Nuanced and at times startling juxtapositions provoke fresh ways of comprehending the body. In the gallery, interactive exhibits allow the visitor to develop surprising connections between the displays and investigate their sensory capacities.
In this website, the you can navigate between sections using the conventional menu on the left of the page. A second menu on the right allows you to navigate within sections and between objects. Exploring the exhibition through these images may take you on a very different path, following the multiple collections between the different bodies assembled here, and allowing you to assemble new bodies.