Is it science, art, or maybe both. An art exhibition seeks to explore the connection that sees science turned into art, with rather variable end results.

Bringing together installations by Martina Amati, Daria Martin, Maria McKinney and John Walter, the exhibition considers how artists can give shape to the human experience, provoking ideas about our senses, our sexual health, our bodies’ limitations and reflections on our food chain.

The image you will see the most often in adverts for the exhibition is of the free-diver, floating in a sea of rich blue. This is actually a video art, and while I am a huge fan of the diving film, The Big Blue, this video art left me rather nonplused, which surprised me.

Elsewhere, a series of huge photos of bulls wearing sculptures made from the plastic artificial insemination straws used to breed animals these days on farms. They reminded me more of the way bulls can sometimes be decorated by Hindus for festivals.

While undeniably done well, again it’s a rather cold display of images that is too far divorced from the industrial reproduction of animal flesh for human consumption that maybe the artist was seeking to create.

A room of voices and sounds seeks to explore the curious condition of mirror-touch synaesthesia, a newly discovered neurological condition that causes people feel the sensation of what another person is touching.

The best though, not just for the topic, but for, well, frankly, looking like actual art — was a room devoted to HIV — where artists themselves often unwillingly collide with the very intimate reality of a medical condition.

Comprising sculpture, painting, video and performance, Alien Sex Club is laid out in the style of a ‘cruise maze’ (apparently) found in sex clubs and gay saunas. It’s a rich visual feast mixing images of viruses and medical instruments in pop-art designs.

Overall, it’s a bit of a mixed bag as a display, one part rather good, the others, well, you might like them, but I found them less appealing.

The exhibition, Somewhere in Between is open at the Wellcome Collection until the end of August. Entry is free.

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One comment on “Science as art at the Wellcome Collection
  1. Sparks says:

    Yes, after visiting recently, I felt the same.
    I love Wellcome, they have some brilliant exhibitions and events it’s one of my favourite places, but I didn’t personally find this current exhibition very appealing.
    I actually liked Martina Amati’s ‘Under’ best, probably because I had heard a talk from a young woman about ‘Free Diving’ (about which I previously knew nothing) so I had a better idea of what they were doing!

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