P10
Art and medical anthropology

Convenors:
Elizabeth Hodson (Newcastle University)
Ian Harper (University of Edinburgh)
Discussant:
Richard Baxstrom (University of Edinburgh)
Location:
Room 10
Start time:
16 April, 2015 at 9:15
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

What is the relationship between art and medicine? Rather how do art and medicine meet at the surfaces of infective tissue, therapies chosen, consumed and denied, whether allopathic or complementary. Where does art supplement medical anthropology in understanding the therapeutic encounter?

Long abstract:

'I can’t understand why most people believe in medicine and don’t believe in art, without questioning either'. Thus began the blurb at the beginning of Damien Hirst’s 1992 piece Pharmacy. In this work, he sought to 'explore the distinctions between art and life, and the power given to pharmaceuticals by our unquestioning faith in them'. The question for this panel, therefore, follows on from this and asks for presentations addressing this interface between art and medicine. We are keen to move beyond the idea of art as a curative modality that supplants medicine, rather how do art and medicine meet at the surfaces of infective tissue, therapies chosen, believed and rejected, therapies consumed and denied, whether allopathic or complementary. Where does art supplement medical anthropology in understanding the therapeutic encounter? Proposals for artistic presentations covering the themes outlined will be very welcome, including the presentation of sound or digital material.