Conference "Comparative Guts"

Jun 07, 2023 to Jun 09, 2023

Kunsthalle Kiel, Düsternbrooker Weg 1, 24105 Kiel

This international conference, which launches the digital exhibition Comparative Guts, focuses on the representation of human innards (especially those involved in digestion and nutrition, what English refers to as ‘guts’) in a variety of world contexts, genres, traditions media and historical periods, from the Neolithic to the contemporary world. It aims to avoid the implicit framework of Eurocentrism by bringing together body representations from different regions, times and layers of human cultural production, emphasizing their irreducible variety and refusing to rank disciplines or contexts. Sensual experience, learned anatomy, religious feelings, medical practices, emotions, political sentiments, decorative intentions, ‘art’: each of these testifies to human reflections about our ‘embodied’ life, and each is valid in its own terms. ‘Comparative Guts’ accordingly explores the approaches of visual methods and image interpretation by foregrounding the potential of images to mediate anthropological information — with ‘image’ meaning not only the visually, optically perceived, but also mental images accessed through proprioceptive feelings, projection, auditory and olfactory stimulation.

The project has an important bearing on disability perspectives, intended in the spirit of inclusivity and sharing knowledge with a public as wide as possible; but also as a challenge to a primarily ‘visual’ paradigm: before seeing and learning about the body we feel it and experience it. Thanks to the generous support offered by the Diversitätsfonds der Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel the comparative guts website includes the Alt-text with image descriptions for the blind, and the conference will host a workshop (link) designed to engage a blind and visually impaired public, with an olfactory experience, tactile objects and a guided visit to four images from our Comparative Guts collection.

You can download the program of the conference here.

Everyone welcome – but please register in advance. For information, and to participate please contact.


Comparative Guts Poster

Chiara Thumiger

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