Saturday, 7 March 2015

Forensics Exhibition - Wellcome Collection

The ads for the Forensics Exhibition (26 Feb 2015 - 21 June, 2015) at all the Tube stations induced us to visit the Wellcome Collection. Yes, I'm a CSI aficionado.

The reviews that we read before visiting said that an hour would be enough to view the exhibition. We spent 2.5 hours, because we found the subject matter so interesting and would have spent much longer, if it wasn't closing up. (On the First Friday of the Month, exhibitions are open until 22:00)

'Forensics: the anatomy of crime’ explores the history, science and art of forensic medicine. It travels from crime scene to courtroom, across centuries and continents, exploring the specialisms of those involved in the delicate processes of collecting, analysing and presenting medical evidence. It draws out the stories of victims, suspects and investigators of violent crimes, and our enduring cultural fascination with death and detection.

The exhibition contains original evidence, archival material, photographic documentation, film footage, forensic instruments and specimens, and is rich with artworks offering both unsettling and intimate responses to traumatic events. Challenging familiar views of forensic medicine shaped by fictions that came out of the sensational reporting of late Victorian murder cases and popular crime dramas, ‘Forensics’ highlights the complex entwining of law and medicine, and the scientific methods it calls upon and create

My favourite parts of the Exhibition were Frances Glessner Lee's "Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death" and the Video Montage of Forensic Evidence given in Courtrooms as seen in TV & Film.

Sejla Kameric's - Ab Uno Disce Omnes - focusing on the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, with its 85 hours of footage and over 30,000 files viewed individually within a working mortuary fridge is haunting, inducing goosebumps and even nightmares. This experience was so haunting, it overshadowed the equally horrifying search in Chile's Atacama Desert for "disappeared" victims of the Pinochet Regime of the 1970's and 1980's.

Famous Murders from British History which were solved using Forensic Evidence like the Ruxton case and the Crippen case also feature heavily at the exhibition.

At the end of it all, we had to stop and sip on a coffee at Wellcome Cafe (managed by Benugo) to absorb all that we had seen, heard and read.

We loved the attached bookshop which has a wonderful collection of books - more than 50% are related to the ongoing exhibitions (Currently Sex & Forensics) - and some very interesting and quirky bric-a-brats.

We'll definitely be back to view the library collection, the Reading Room and the Sex Exhibition. The people behind the Wellcome Collection do a great job of curating very interesting pieces. The number of pieces on display are minimal, but they weave an engrossing story.

Wellcome Collection 
183 Euston Road
London NW1 2BE
020 7611 2222
Entry : Free
Photography : Not Allowed
Monday Holiday
Tue / Wed / Fri / Sat : 10:00 - 18:00
Thursday & First Friday of the Month : 10:00 - 22:00
Sunday : 11:00 - 18:00

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