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UAL Research Online

Visible Bodies: Cartography and Anatomy

Albano, Caterina (2001) Visible Bodies: Cartography and Anatomy. In: Literature, Mapping and Politics in Early Modern English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 89-106. ISBN 0521803772

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Albano, Caterina

The essay was first presented at the international conference 'Paper Landscapes: Maps, Texts, and the Construction of Space', 1500-1700 (Queen Mary and Westfield College, 1997). The conference was supported by the British Academy, Cologne and Queen Mary and Westfield College. Contributors to the collection of writings include scholars who have mapped out and defined this area of research such as Helgerson, Gillies and Arnold.

The aim of the collection was to assess the centrality of mapping, a key term in critical discourse, in the making of early modern culture and to analyse the material practice beyond the semiotic perspective. The collection demonstrates the impact of cartography in the shaping of political and social identities in the period considered. Reviewers praised the interdisciplinary breadth and richness of the material presented.

The essay 'Visible Bodies' considers the correspondence of body and space in early modern culture by comparing visual and textual primary sources to explore the conceptual links between anatomy and cartography. The recurrent analogy of the body as a land to be conquered and mapped by the anatomist is compared to use of bodies in maps.

The mutually enabling strategies of spatialising the body and humanising the map thus suggests the gendered, cultural and political implications of such representations. The essay examines lesser-known documents alongside key texts of the period, as well as referring to up to date scholarship to define the process of representation that informed anatomical and cartographical illustrations in the early modern period.

Official Website: http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521803779
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Caterino Albano
Research Interests

Cultural history, cultural theory, history of medicine and science, curating, visual and perfoming arts.

Current Research

I am currently working on a book project Fear and Art (working title) to be published by Reaktion on the cultural construction of fear as articulated through the lens of the visual arts. Fear and Art timely looks at contemporary ‘culture of fear’ by exploring the significance of contemporary art in betraying a climate of uncertainty and anxiety. The book reflects upon the present and on the rich panorama of artists bridging between cultural theory, history of emotion, and art criticism.

I collaborated in a curatorial capacity on ‘Exploring the Invisible’, an interdisciplinary project by artist Anne Brodie and molecular microbiologist Simon Park (University of Surrey) funded by the Wellcome Trust. The project explores the properties of the light of the bioluminescent bacterium Photobacterium phosphoreum. The project investigates human relation with bacteria using enquiry and experimentation across photography, film and installation.

I also collaborate as an external consultant on a curatorial capacity for the Wellcome Trust to the forthcoming exhibition ‘Medicine and Art: Imagining a Future for Life and Love – Leonardo, Okyo, Damien Hirst (Mori Museum, Tokyo, 28th November 09 – 28th February 2010). The exhibition explores the art and science of the human body historically and through contemporary art and is based on the medical collection of the Wellcome Trust.

Related outputs: a catalogue (Albano and Wallace, 2002) 'Gregor Mendel: The Genius of Genetics', Czech Republic, ISBN: 3-9501590-1-2 articles, lectures, and an international scientific conference (2003); further exhibitions : Genova, 2004, "Il Genio della Genetica"; in Chicago, and further North American venues "Mendel, Genes and Genius", 2006-07; a Mendel web site; establishment of a permanent Mendel Museum at Abbey of St. Thomas, Brno.

Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 2001
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2009 12:18
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2010 12:50
Item ID: 1312
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1312

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