Sunday, 24 June 2007

Wellcome Collection: The Heart

Wellcome Collection
183 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE

Distance from Kings Cross Station:
approx 1.6 kms or 1 mile.

Distance from Euston Station:
approx 400 metres or 1/4 mile.

Well, after many moons of being veiled behind closed doors, the Wellcome Collection is open, after refurbishment. And according to this resident artist, it is definitely well-worth the wait.

As far as the actual building goes, I didn't get much of a chance to really get indepth with the whole place, but it seemed to be very accessible and just as easy to spend half a lifetime in there as it is to zip in an out for a quick peek. Even the toilets are cool! And believe me, this matters.

Wittgenstein writings on the wall, above the mirrors in the ladies loo. i got busted by someone taking this and did the worst job at acting cool about the whole thing.

There has been heaps about the new exhibition written in the dead tree press, which is great for the Collection, the area and cultural tourism in London. Not so great for comparisons to this teensy post.

This exhibition has planted itself firmly in contemporary curatorial practice in its wholistic approach to the theme. The broadness of the theme could have been the death of it, but the show manages to have a perfect mix of general and specific. The show is a compilation of 2D, 3D, moving and sound works, which I think is vital in creating an all-encompasing experience for audiences. The musical responses to the heart (mostly about broken ones, actually) gave me a little tickle of joy and, combined with the heartbeak soundtrack of a healthy heart vs mitral regurgitation, I was able to really soak up the atmosphere of investigating the heart.

sketchings from the heart. note the poxy sketch of the heart seats you sit on to listen to 1+1=1

There was a great mix of historical and contemporary, anatomical and symbolic, objective and subjective. There was also a nice balance of the icky and the not-so-icky. I had to accept that while I could totally enjoy Jordan Baseman's 1+1=1 sound work about heart and lung transplant recipient, I couldn't do his Under the Blood video of open heart surgery. I was just too squeamish. Although, strangely, I loved the gory (but not quite so realistic) images by Ana Mendieta and Raymond Pettibon (c'mon, who doesn't love Raymond), which centred around using anatomical images of the heart, blood, veins to convey the pain and intensity of love.

Curators Emily Jo Sargent and James Peto have done a fantastic job of bringing art and research together for the purpose of enlightenment and understanding, without being too patronising or too high-falutin'.

Ms CreateKX is back tomorrow after a fantastic holiday, so that's it from me as your resident gal-about-town.
Thanks to the galleries, museums and architectural edifices of Kings Cross for having me. I might pop in every now and again to say hello (if Ms CreateKX lets me) and make sure you continue to go and support your local creative output. It's good for the soul.



william said...

hey i did the heart yesterday was very good i thought, didn't dumb down too much and was quite demanding

pacific dream said...

Thanks for this good & excellent work. you should have to continue it forever.....

Pacific Dreams

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