Revealing Bodies

Description:

A multidisciplinary temporary exhibition at the Exploratorium that considered the human body from cultural, historical, art, and science perspectives. Objects, images, and interactive exhibits provoked visitors to explore how imagery has influenced the way we perceive and define our bodies and ourselves. A review of the exhibition—"A Science Museum Embraces Art Through Anatomy"—was published in the New York Times. 

s:
<p>The exhibition ignited the imagination, as much as it stirred emotions and provoked debate. This image, taken by staff photographer Amy Snyder, captures the elegant effects of &quot;Project Your Insides,&quot; one of the interactive exhibits created specifically for the project.&nbsp;(photo &copy; Exploratorium)</p>

This innovative exhibition mixed artworks, objects, images, and interactive science exhibits in thought-provoking juxtapositions that blurred the boundaries between scientific accuracy and artistic fantasy. It also included extraordinary objects, such as this anatomical wax model from Museo Zoologia 'La Specola' in Florence, Italy. (photo © Exploratorium)

<p>The exhibition ignited the imagination, as much as it stirred emotions and provoked debate. This image, taken by staff photographer Amy Snyder, captures the elegant effects of &quot;Project Your Insides,&quot; one of the interactive exhibits created specifically for the project.&nbsp;(photo &copy; Exploratorium)</p> thumbnail
<p>The exhibition ignited the imagination, as much as it stirred emotions and provoked debate. This image, taken by staff photographer Amy Snyder, captures the elegant effects of &quot;Project Your Insides,&quot; one of the interactive exhibits created specifically for the project.&nbsp;(photo &copy; Exploratorium)</p>

With its edgy theme, its unusual development process, and its use of more traditional museum display techniques, the exhibition was a lightning rod for professional and cultural tensions among staff at the Exploratorium. (photo © Exploratorium)

<p>The exhibition ignited the imagination, as much as it stirred emotions and provoked debate. This image, taken by staff photographer Amy Snyder, captures the elegant effects of &quot;Project Your Insides,&quot; one of the interactive exhibits created specifically for the project.&nbsp;(photo &copy; Exploratorium)</p> thumbnail
<p>The exhibition ignited the imagination, as much as it stirred emotions and provoked debate. This image, taken by staff photographer Amy Snyder, captures the elegant effects of &quot;Project Your Insides,&quot; one of the interactive exhibits created specifically for the project.&nbsp;(photo &copy; Exploratorium)</p>

Some management staff insisted that the provocative imagery was inappropriate for a family audience, while some on the exhibition team felt that management interventions in object and image selection were serious acts of censorship. (photo © Exploratorium)

<p>The exhibition ignited the imagination, as much as it stirred emotions and provoked debate. This image, taken by staff photographer Amy Snyder, captures the elegant effects of &quot;Project Your Insides,&quot; one of the interactive exhibits created specifically for the project.&nbsp;(photo &copy; Exploratorium)</p> thumbnail
<p>The exhibition ignited the imagination, as much as it stirred emotions and provoked debate. This image, taken by staff photographer Amy Snyder, captures the elegant effects of &quot;Project Your Insides,&quot; one of the interactive exhibits created specifically for the project.&nbsp;(photo &copy; Exploratorium)</p>

Much of the staff concern centered around traditional museum display techniques that incorporated "passive" objects on pedestals, images under glass, and gallery-like walls that contained the exhibition. It was not in keeping with the highly interactive and open nature of the rest of the space. Visitors, on the other hand, were actively engaged. Tracking and timing studies showed that they stayed longer in this exhibition than in the previous five temporary exhibitions hosted at the Exploratorium. (photo © Exploratorium)

<p>The exhibition ignited the imagination, as much as it stirred emotions and provoked debate. This image, taken by staff photographer Amy Snyder, captures the elegant effects of &quot;Project Your Insides,&quot; one of the interactive exhibits created specifically for the project.&nbsp;(photo &copy; Exploratorium)</p> thumbnail
<p>The exhibition ignited the imagination, as much as it stirred emotions and provoked debate. This image, taken by staff photographer Amy Snyder, captures the elegant effects of &quot;Project Your Insides,&quot; one of the interactive exhibits created specifically for the project.&nbsp;(photo &copy; Exploratorium)</p>

The exhibition ignited the imagination, as much as it stirred emotions and provoked debate. This image, taken by staff photographer Amy Snyder, captures the elegant effects of "Project Your Insides," one of the interactive exhibits created specifically for the project. (photo © Exploratorium)

<p>The exhibition ignited the imagination, as much as it stirred emotions and provoked debate. This image, taken by staff photographer Amy Snyder, captures the elegant effects of &quot;Project Your Insides,&quot; one of the interactive exhibits created specifically for the project.&nbsp;(photo &copy; Exploratorium)</p> thumbnail
Date:
2000
Roles:
Director of the Center for Public Exhibition, Project Oversight
Funders:
  • Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
  • California Arts Council
  • National Endowment for the Arts
Footprint:
5,000 square feet
Venue:
  • Exploratorium
Collaborators:
Melissa Alexander, Darcie Fohrman, Mark McGowan