Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Anatomical Theatre Opening





My photography show Anatomical Theatre: Depictions of The Body, Disease, and Death in Medical Museums of the Western World opened in Birmingham, Alabama last Thursday. For the opening, I was asked to deliver a 45 minute lecture and slide show; I chose to speak (and show) about my travels, the travails of small medical museums the world over, and the history of "morbid" amusements, arts, and cultural practices before the 20th century sensibility of denial-of-death emerged to make such amusements SEEM morbid, such as memorial photography, memento mori, the danse macabre, popular anatomical museums, public executions, death masks, and, of course, the anatomical theatre itself.

The people who attended the lecture and the opening were much more receptive than I had dreamed they would be; they asked me many interesting questions after the lecture, and people stuck around for the reception and really looked at the photos, asked me yet more questions, and even seemed to read the wall text. I met a bunch of really interesting people, and I had a great time.

Thanks so much to historian and friend Emily Nelms, of Vulcan's Muse Blog, for so kindly supplying all the photos from the opening reception and lecture, featured here. You can view more images from the opening and lecture here, of the show itself here, and of the oddly positive Birmingham, Alabama press here. You can also read the press release here if you are so inclined.

7 comments:

Q said...

Congrats on the opening of your exhibition!

If only it had been Birmingham, UK instead of Alabama, USA. I would love to see it.

Anonymous said...

Blasphemous! The Lord would not approve of the glorification of his great work disgracefully reduced to pickles in a jar. Repent! The nerve you have little missy. THE NERVE! I PRAY FOR YOU !!!!

emily.n said...

'historian' – wow, it's weird to see it in writing, but it's true, i suppose.

your work is, and will always be, fabulous. i'm so glad that you were the reynolds fellow and able to do this project. it was great working with you on the opening! :) now, if i can just make some time (and have the cash) to come visit!

Tony S. said...

As a young girl I might have predicted this kind of amazing work coming from Joanna. Congratultions on following your muse. I knew you had it in you.

Eric said...

Is that God bothering comment for real? I thought it was 2007.

M said...

Congratulations! It looks like it was to die for! HAHA!! Okay, that wasn't funny and I take it back. Look, no bones about it, it looks like it went great. You've definitely got guts to to do something like that, and I'm truly impressed with your body of work. But of corpse, I already knew that! (Okay, I took it too far with of corpse).

Noel Tanti said...

hi... first of all congratulations on having such a great blog...

second, congratulations on your exhibition... i've gone through the photos several times and your work is simply mesmerising...

thirdly, is there a catalogue of the exhibition available... if so how can one get a copy?

thanks