Langerman exhibition on representation of disease

29 July 2009 | Story by Newsroom

Fritha Langerman

Artist Fritha Langerman of UCT's Michaelis School of Fine Art is the curator of Subtle Thresholds, a new exhibition that explores infectious diseases and the complex inter-relationship between the zoological, human and microbial worlds.

Langerman spent over two years developing the exhibition, combining thousands of elements to examine the historic and current visual representation of disease.

"Infectious diseases are caused by organisms which are as deserving of visual attention as any other species," she says. "The exhibition suggests that within an extremely complex biological system, humans represent a very small unit."

The exhibition includes historic medical equipment; a 68-metre timeline, light boxes with viral images, sign plates with GPS co-ordinates of disease outbreaks, electron microscope images of animal droppings, steel silhouettes of bacteria, and 512 cut-out hands from historical images of healing.

Funded by the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts, the National Arts Council and the National Research Foundation, Subtle Thresholds is on at the Iziko South African Museum from 25 July to March 2010.

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