Life Lines will happen as a part of Nocturn, running from 6pm-midnight at Eyelevel Gallery, 100-5663 Cornwallis Street. It will be a collaborative group performance with Curvy Girls, based on a physical examination performed by doctors to assess patients for Scoliosis called the Forward Bend Test. This test is simple, a patient bends forward with their feet together, their arms hanging limp, and their knees extended until their back is horizontal. The examiner assesses from behind by running their finger down the patient’s spine, feeling and looking for indicators of Scoliosis.
For the performance, Alexis Bulman or a member of Curvy Girls will examine everyone in attendance by performing the Forward Bend Test. Each person’s spine will be traced and translated onto a sheet of paper by drawing a line that looks the way the spine feels. At the end of the performance, the wall will be filled with spines transcribed into lines, one after another, some curved, some straight. This performance and the line drawings that result from it will serve as a kind of guest book of everyone who attended the event.
Life Lines is an active opportunity to practice anticipating the needs of others by allowing the intimacy and trust of being “traced” to replace medical jargon, medical equipment, and the notion of the body as an object of analysis.
Opening December 5th, 5-8 pm at the Thomas McCulloch Museum, located at 1355 Oxford Street in the Dalhousie Life Sciences Centre
The Thomas McCulloch Museum is a small Natural History Museum located in the Life Sciences Centre at Dalhousie University. The museum currently houses a permanent collection of taxidermy Maritime specimens displayed in glass cabinets and dioramas. RETHINKING THE THOMAS MCCULLOCH MUSEUM will reconsider the museum’s permanent collection along with commissioned works that will investigate the complexities of the site’s history, and colonial museological practices as a whole. This project will combine contemporary artworks with natural history artifacts and archives in order to explore and question museological, scientific, historical, and cultural practices in Nova Scotia.
This project will attempt to situate the Thomas McCulloch Museum within the social context that underlies the museum’s curation of its artifacts. It will bring this history into question, thereby reanimating it in conversation with contemporary art and the ongoing impact of colonialism in Nova Scotia.