a few days ago I participated in a Hybrid Bodies Project
workshop at YYZ, Toronto. "Through the whole three days of the
workshop there will be a handful of medical students doing
qualitative research with all the invitees - which essentially
consists of a questionnaire compiled by both the PITH team
and the artistic team."
At the workshop: "Each of the four participating artists will have
one existing work installed at YYZ. They are works that have been
selected based on their relationship both thematically to the
transplantation research and also to what each artist is planning for
the final exhibition for Hybrid Bodies. The artists will be in the gallery
with their work to be able to speak with and ask questions; and there
will also be staff from the PITH team of the Monk Cardiac Centre from
U of T on hand to observe and converse."
Hybrid Bodies is an important, meaningful interdisciplinary
collaboration - especially significant (in the field of art &
science collaborations) because it was initiated by the
medical scientists involved in the project. The collaboration is
between staff from of the Monk Cardiac Centre from University of
Toronto and four international/Canadian artists. The project is
funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Please find below the project description below.
Hybrid Bodies Project
Few organs are as charged as the human heart. Seen as both the seat
of human identity and the archetypal symbol of love, it is an organ
that has been ascribed qualities and associations far beyond its
anatomical functions. Since the first heart transplant in 1967, the
technical aspects of the operation have been streamlined and now
heart transplantation is the accepted therapy for end-stage heart
Four internationally exhibiting artists, Alexa Wright (UK), Catherine
Richards (Canada), Andrew Carnie (UK), and Ingrid Bachmann (Canada),
have had access to an innovative research study exploring the process
of incorporating a transplanted heart. This interdisciplinary study
was conducted by a leading research team based at the University
Health Network in Toronto. The team consists of Dr. Heather Ross, a
cardiologist and Director of the Cardiac Transplant Program at the
University Health Network (Toronto); Dr. Patricia McKeever, a health
sociologist (U of T) ; Dr. Susan Abbey, a transplant psychiatrist
(Univesity Health Network); Dr. Jennifer Poole, a health scientist
(Ryerson University, Toronto); and Dr. Margrit Shildrick, a
philosopher (Linkoping University, Sweden).
While significant research has been conducted on the medical aspects
of transplantation, little research has been done on the emotional
and psychological issues that confront recipients post transplant.
Transplantation is clearly a cultural as well as a medical issue.
The aim of this project is to bring these issues into the public
realm in an accessible way and to provide a language and a context to
explore these ideas. The artworks will provide a tangible focus for
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