acting out: the institution denied

10 Jun 2014

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£3/£2 (conc)

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The Anatomy Museum

London, United Kingdom


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  • Charing Cross, Covent Garden
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Artists Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Eva Kotátková respond to the context and history of the Anatomy Theatre with two new performances.


As part of acting out: the institution denied, artists Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Eva Kotátková respond to the context and history of the Anatomy Theatre with two new performances. Departing from how medical sciences present the body as evidence of our psychological states, these performances stage and interrogate the truth of medical and scientific protocols and their impact on individuals and society. Lawrence Abu Hamdan presents a new performative lecture developed out of his work The Whole Truth, an audio documentary investigating the current application of voice analysis as a lie detection method recently piloted by European, Russian and Israeli governments as well as being employed in border agencies and insurance companies all over the world. This technology uses the voice as a kind of stethoscope, an instrument to measure internal bodily responses to stress and tension; a material channel that allows the law's listening to bypass speech and delve deeper into the body of its subjects. This performance will incorporate a wide array of voices from software developers, anthropologists and entrepreneurs of the biometric industry, from the Netherlands, USA and elsewhere. To the listeners, it offers a fresh look into how truth is constituted, to whom truth matters and who can use it; it complicates the current conventions of testimony and its relationship to trauma, free speech, technology and the body. Eva Kotátková presents a newly commissioned performance Picture atlas of Johan, a boy who cut the library of the clinic into pieces continuing her on-going exploration of institutions and disciplinary systems that control and manage behaviours and bodies, such as schools and psychiatric hospitals. In dialogue with the history of the Anatomy Theatre, this new work stages a medical examination alongside abstract representations of inner visions, anxieties and fears. As part of Anxiety Arts Festival (www.anxiety2014.org)


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