Saturday, 30 April 2011

Dirt Exhibition at Wellcome Collection

Today we went to Wellcome Collection at Euston Square to see 'Dirt' exhibition. 'Dirt' reveals the fascinating world of filth that remains one of the very last taboos. Bringing together around 200 artefacts spanning visual art, documentary photography, cultural ephemera, scientific artefacts, film and literature, the exhibition uncovers a rich history of disgust and delight in the grimy truths and dirty secrets of our past, and points to the uncertain future of filth, which poses a significant risk to our health but is also vital to our existence.

Following anthropologist Mary Douglas's observation that dirt is 'matter out of place', the exhibition introduces six very different places as a starting point for exploring attitudes towards dirt and cleanliness: a home in 17th-century Delft in Holland, a street in Victorian London, a hospital in Glasgow in the 1860s, a museum in Dresden in the early 20th century, a community in present day New Delhi and a New York landfill site in 2030. Highlights include paintings by Pieter de Hooch, the earliest sketches of bacteria and John Snow's 'ghost map' of choler. I was expecting something more on the edge and shocking, but it was still very interesting and I'm glad we decided to go. Boyfriend was even more interested than me reading all the information next to the objects! I wonder why men are so attracted to ugliness? Ha ha.

Afterwards we took a long walk to Baker Street and had really healthy lunch (green vegetables salad with salmon) and then even longer walk to Leicester Square. Boyfriend went to see Meek's Cutoff - I talked about it for so long, I convinced him to go. Because I already saw it, I decided to stay in a nice little park next to Chinatown and read a book (Room by Emma Donoghue) and wait for him. I also went for a nice Costa Latte - I missed it in Poland! 

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