Medical Humanities at Birkbeck Arts Week, 20-24 May 2019

There are lots of medical humanities-related events and a special exhibition taking place as part of this year’s Birkbeck Arts Week. Save the dates for the below!

EXHIBITION: I Run & Run, Let Out An Earth Shattering Roar, and Turn Into a Giant Octopussy, Kai Syng Tan (2018) #magiccarpet

20 May – 24 May | Room 106, 43 Gordon Square, 9am-9pm | No booking required.

This tapestry is the result of a collaboration between artist Kai Syng Tan and Philip Asherson, Professor of Psychiatry at King’s College London, exploring mind-wandering, ADHD, and the creative process. Woven at Flanders Tapestries, Belgium, the work is described by Tan as follows: “Colourful and overworked, the tapestry is a snapshot of my hyperactive mind. Flitting in and out of reason and legibility, there’s death, sex, surrealism, My Little Pony and terminologies on ‘abnormalities’ of the brain that I’d learnt as the first artist-in-residence at the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre.”

The tapestry will be on display from 9am-9pm throughout Birkbeck Arts Week (20-24 May), including for a special reception after the Too Much/Not Enough event on the 21st, where the artist will be present.

Visitors can also chat with the artist during the exhibition on Monday 20th (11am-3pm), Tuesday 21st (12pm-3pm), Wednesday 22nd (9am-3pm), and Friday 24th (12pm-9pm). For more details, click here.

Telling stories about syphilis | 4-5pm Monday 21st May | Book your ticket

Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square.

What was it? How did we find it? And who had it? Syphilis is a disease whose symptoms and circumstances, across the centuries, made it peculiarly compelling and challenging to understand. How do we analyse something so deeply mythologised?

Too much/not enough: neurodiversity and cultural production | 6-7.20pm Tuesday 21st May | Book your ticket

Room G04, 43 Gordon Square

Screening and workshop with artist Kai Syng Tan, curator Alessandra Cianetti, and literary researcher Sophie Jones exploring the aesthetics of neurodiversity and discussing the place of invisible disabilities in the cultural industries. In connection with the #magiccarpet exhibition.

Sickness and cure in Emile Zola’s Rougon-Macquart Novels | 7.40-8.45pm Tuesday 21st May | Book your ticket

Room 104, 43 Gordon Square

How is sickness expressed in Emile Zola’s novels? Focusing on his twenty-volume Rougon-Macquart cycle, this discussion traces the transformation from sickness to redemption from the first to the final book, in the context of Zola’s France in the late nineteenth-century.



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