In these days of rising costs, waiting lists and funding threats to the NHS, almost everyone can relate to an exhibition that looks at the doctor-patient relationship. Last term, a group of students from the University of Manchester’s MA programme in Art Gallery and Museum Studies took that theme for one of their assessed modules, creating an exhibition proposal centring on books, manuscripts and prints from the Library’s collection, and a selection of historical medical instruments from the Manchester Museum of Medicine and Health.
They had so much fun working on the project, that this summer they’ve returned, laden with doctor’s bag and eager to turn that proposal into reality. The exhibition, which opens on 17 July, explores how the development of technical aides has changed the doctor-patient relationship, perhaps adding an element of impersonality, even as the implements have aided diagnosis.
Next Thursday evening, 16 July, Sense & Diagnosis formally opens with a special exhibition preview and performance event that is open to all. See / Hear / Touch will feature one-to-one performances around the Library by Ayaka Furukawa, iOrganic, Tom Parkinson, River Lin and Andrew Houston. These performers will explore the relationship between the senses of sight, hearing and touch and medical diagnosis. The performances draw on a variety of influences, from personal experience and medical equipment to research into historical diagnosis techniques. The curators’ blog is well worth a read, providing more information about the Thursday evening performance, as well as insight into how the exhibition was curated.