A major new exhibition at London’s Wellcome Collection will look at one of the most complex entities in the universe – the human brain.
Brains: the Mind as Matter will explore what humans have done to brains in the cause of medical intervention, scientific enquiry, cultural meaning and technological change. Visitors to this free exhibition will be able to see more than 150 objects including real brains, artworks, manuscripts, artefacts, videos and photography.
Famous brain specimens will be on display, including those of Albert Einstein, Charles Babbage and William Burke, and the exhibition will include many thoughts on the brain, from the brains of famous thinkers, surgeons, patients and collectors. The exhibition will also look at the cultural significance of the rituals, rhetoric and reality of handling brains throughout history, and will include works by contemporary artists including Helen Pynor, Annie Cattrell, Susan Aldworth and Katharine Dowson.
Brains takes a journey around the form, structure and condensed volume of the organ that contains 100 billion nerve cells and some 100 trillion synapses or neural connections, and which cannot be transplanted.
Marius Kwint, Guest Curator, says: ‘Brains shows how a single, fragile organ has become the object of modern society’s most profound hopes, fears and beliefs, and some of its most extreme practices and advanced technologies.’
The Wellcome Collection is open Tue–Sat 10am–6pm (10pm Thu), Sun 11am–6pm, admission free. Brains: the Mind as Matter runs from 29 March to 17 June.