SPARE PARTS is London Science Gallery‘s new exhibition exploring the art, science, ethics and technology that enables human repair and alteration. Drawing on the latest research from the Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine and the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences at King’s, it examines organ transplantation and tissue regeneration through the creative responses of world-renowned artists and designers.
The distinctive new season considers the emotional and psychological aspects of living with a replacement organ or limb; organic or engineered. Developed alongside scientists from King’s College London and the gallery’s Young Leaders – 15-25 year-olds from neighbouring boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark – the exhibition will invite visitors to question whether ‘spare parts’ can exist outside the biological body, or whether our bodies can be a sum of independent parts that are regenerated, enhanced, donated or altered.
Exhibition highlights include experimental incubators hosting cellular life from Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, auditory prosthetics from sculptor Tabatha Andrews, body parts crafted from fabrics created by textile designer Amy Congdon and 3D-printed models of hearts designed by Salomé Bazin, founder of Cellule, a collaborative design studio for healthcare innovation.
Video and sound installations describing the impact of organ donation are also showcased alongside the voices of patients, artists, and scientists from the Biomedical Engineering Department, the Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine and the Tissue Engineering and Biophotonics Division at King’s.
As Stéphanie Delcroix, curator-producer for SPARE PARTS, said: “The thought-provoking artworks featured within SPARE PARTS attempt to challenge preconceptions around the repair of the human body. This distinctive exhibition offers unexpected perspectives and striking visual metaphors that describe the technological and scientific advances that can restore our bodies and sustain human life”.
At the centre of the exhibition, immersive experience The Gut offers an interactive space to explore the art and science of human repair first hand. Visitors can splice cacti to help them understand issues surrounding human tissue grafting, stitch together electrodes while considering innovations in biotechnology, thumb reading materials gathered for the Foreign Bodies Reading Group and exchange bacteria via the SuperTurd Card Game.
Students from King’s College London’s Synthetic Anatomy & Biotechnology will also host a 3D print open source body parts workshop within the gallery, while independent magazine, OUTLND, will take over the space during their SPARE PARTS residency. This comes ahead of the season’s first Friday Late on 15 March, featuring events curated by the gallery’s Young Leaders. The full events programme will be announced in February.