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EMBL Forum Lectures

Marina Wallace, University of the Arts, London (UK)

Marina Wallace, University of
the Arts, London (UK)

Friday, 28 February 2014 at 14:00 in the Large Operon, EMBL Heidelberg

Marina Wallace, University of the Arts, London (UK)

Meetings of Minds / Lens on Life

Abstract

For many people not involved in the world of science, scientific concepts can be hard to grasp. The documentary, Meetings of Minds, made within the context of the exhibition LENS ON LIFE, invites 4 artist/ scientist teams to explore, and make accessible, concepts and processes belonging to a world invisible to the senses and usually confined to the guarded enclosures of the scientific laboratory. Mitosis is an everyday process we still do not fully understand, though when it goes wrong, we are all too familiar with the results. In this film we seek to gain an insight into the creative journey that every scientist makes who works on this fundamental life process. Meetings of Minds allows the scientists to speak for themselves in conversation with the artists. By talking to the scientists at work in their laboratories, and the artists at work in their workshops, we are able to foreground the parallels (and differences) between artistic and scientific practice. Meetings of Minds explores the nature of both disciplines by posing questions such as: what roles do imagination, creativity, discovery and curiosity play in scientific enquiry and in artistic enquiry? What inspires you to do what you do? Is there or can there be a shared language between art and science? The film will facilitate the exchange of ideas between the scientists and their artist partners, leading to a series of new perspectives on the subject of mitosis and the creation of new artworks by the artists themselves.The exhibition will pick up on the history of the microscope and of the birth of cell theory.

Biography

Marina Wallace is Professor of Curating and Director of Artakt at Central Saint Martins College of Arts & Design, University of the Arts, London.

She was Mellon Fellow at Cape Town University (2013). She is currently principal investigator in a 12 scientific institutions EU FP7 Research Project, MitoSys (2010-2015). She was co-Director, with Prof. Martin Kemp, of the Universal Leonardo project (2001-2008). She was also on the editorial board of the British Medical Journal Humanities (BMJH), a member of the Scientific Committee of the contemporary art space Hangar Bicocca in Milan.

She curated a number of major and groundbreaking exhibitions including Seduced, Art and Sex from Antiquity to Now (Barbican Art Gallery, London, 2007/8); Spectacular Bodies: the Art and Science of the Human Body, from Leonardo to Now (Hayward Gallery, 2000/01); Head On, Art with the Brain in Mind (Science Museum, London, 2002); Mendel,The Genius of Genetics (Mendel Museum, Brno, 2003); Mendel, Il Genio della Genetica (Genova, Italy, 2003), and others. She is currently contributing towards a visual interpretation and the dissemination of scientific knowledge (the exhibition, Lens on Life and the documentary Meetings of Minds, 2012-2015) for a EU project, MItoSys (2010-2015).

She produced a number of University of the Arts and Wellcome Trust projects with related events such as Tune In, on music and the brain, and Move Me On, on dance and emotions. She is also the author of a number of publications in the UK and abroad, amongst them John Hilliard, 1969-1996 (Verlag Das Wunderhorn, 1999); Spectacular Bodies.The Art and Science of the Human Body from Leonardo to Now (CUP, 2000); Head On, Art with the Brain in Mind (2003); Mendel, the Genius of Genetics (Vienna, 2003); Seduced, Art&Sex from Antiquity to Now (Merrell, 2007); Acts of Seeing (Zidane Press, 2009); La Cultura Italiana, Volume X (UTET, 2010). The Lives of Paintings Seven Masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, (2011).

Professor Wallace has a background in classics, fine art and art history and has also worked in journalism. She is closely engaged with art and culture as an art historian, writer, lecturer and curator. She broadcasts frequently, and her field of competence and professional involvement ranges from Renaissance to Contemporary Art, including the intersection between art, culture & science. She is widely published, regularly contributing essays for contemporary artists' catalogues and anthologies.

For further information see www.artakt.co.uk.