In May last year, Art Catalysts co-organised an event with the disability arts group Shape at the Hunterian Museum, titled ‘Labyrinth of Living Exhibits.
"The event addressed the issue of human specimens in such collections. There are thousands of specimens on display, the remains of the once vast collection made by Hunter. Many still carry his classification as either ‘morbid’ or ‘normal’. The unsettling collection contains many human parts, including whole skeletons and human foetuses. The focus of Hunter’s collecting was clearly biased towards ‘the different’ – extreme cases of growth, “abnormality” and disease. In the Labyrinth of Living Exhibits, artist Aaron Williamson curated four simultaneous, specially commissioned, site-specific performances, which infiltrated and responded to the collection, performed simultaneously by disabled artists Aaron Williamson, Sinéad O’Donnell, Brian Catling and Katherine Araniello.
A lively panel discussion followed the performances. Aaron Williamson opened the discussion by explaining his curation of the performances, explaining his interest in the responses of artists who are “set apart from the norm” through illness or medical prognosis.
You can watch video recordings of the full panel discussion here.
Video recording of the panel discussion "Exploring the Autistic Mind" can watch here.
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