Sculpture as Medicine & CORPoreal (10/31 - )

“Sculpture as Medicine” constitutes a group exhibition of works in various media, including a performance to take place during the opening reception, created by students in a class of the same name at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition is curated by their instructor Gabriel Bizen Akagawa, who designed the course, which he has taught for the last two years, “to investigate how studio art changes when it has a medicinal function.”

It was Akagawa’s goal to nurture students’ work through “a practice of medicinal attention and action lacking in many realms of career-driven society.“ Moreover, he says, “Medicine is an unstable phenomenon in contemporary society. Health (care) is not necessarily a human right. This exhibition is supported in part by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. For more information about the Sculpture as Medicine class, please visit

“CORPOreal comprises documentation of the medical protocols—postmortem examination, dissection, cross-sectional imaging, and full-body scanning—that Jason Ferguson has performed on everyday household objects, such as a shoe and a La-Z-Boy recliner. The exhibition includes both the physical remains of these objects, selected based on their socio-cultural associations, as well as video footage of their deconstruction through procedures generally reserved for the bodies of living organisms. Ferguson learned these actual procedures from medical practitioners and professionals in other scientific disciplines; “Collaborating with practitioners in various branches of study gives my work a level of authenticity that I could not provide on my own,” he says.

This authenticity provokes a visceral reaction from viewers, making them aware of their status as mortal objects: “The human condition has been defined as the paradoxical state of having awareness of one’s limitations and mortality while lacking the ability to alter fate. My work utilizes scientific protocol and the collection and analysis of empirical data in order to explore the minute details of human experience more thoroughly.” Ferguson currently teaches at the University of Idaho, and his work has recently been exhibited in solo shows on the East Coast and also in group exhibitions in Germany and the Netherlands.

The International Museum of Surgical Science
1524 North Lake Shore Drive,
Admission costs $10 for adults and $6 for students
On Tuesdays admission is free.
The entire Museum will be open for viewing during the free reception on October 31. 312.642.6502


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