Dead, dissected art

Posted on 25/11/2010 by

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I’ve just spent the morning interviewing artist Christine Borland about her new exhibition, From Nature.

The work involves creating a cast of a man who died and was dissected in the 19th century. Over the next three months Christine and her assistant will painstakingly take moulds from the cast, which she found broken and dusty, in storage at Royal College of Surgeons.

The process of creating this figure can be watched live by the public. However they aren’t allowed into the room where Christine is working. Instead, they can watch two live video feeds from a nearby gallery – one showing a wide-angle shot of the room, with it’s stainless steel tables and equipment, the other showing an overhead shot of the body as they work on it, with scalpels, razors and clay.

The idea is to recreate the aloof, removed viewpoint that would have existed in the dissection theatres of 19th century.

This was also a challenge when it came to recording Christine at work. Instead of being in the room, I had to be next door, watching the action, and describing it – whilst a recorder I left in the room recorded them as they worked.

You can hear my radio piece on From Nature on the Culture Cafe on Radio Scotland, 1:15 on December 7th.

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Posted in: Arts