Sunday, April 12, 2009

London, UK. London Digest-Madness and Modernity.

Madness and Modernity at the Wellcome Collection is a very narrowly focused. Its subject, mental illness and the arts in Vienna of the 1900s, would be difficult to illustrate even for the most resourceful curator.
There are some interesting things on show; a schizophrenic woman's mad scribbles on an 1890 newspaper, sculpted heads of ' idiotic ' (microcephalic) brothers, an electrified cage developed for the treatment of depression.
Unfortunately, the scarce and disjointed exhibits are mildly curious, rather than fascinating. Not enough is explained, too much is assumed. However, it does raise interesting questions about ethics in psychotherapy and the morality of 'modern' approaches, which in a hundred years may seem just as antiquated as a lobotomy is to the present-day observer.

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