chapter  3
Curating the dead body between medicine and culture
WithKarin Tybjerg
Pages 16

This chapter argues that the discussion of whether human remains should be exhibited has overshadowed the question of how they should be exhibited and resulted in cautious approaches and modes of display that tend to separate medical and cultural understandings of the specimens. It shows how shifting the focus away from the debates, opens up avenues for curating the material that simultaneously present the specimens as medical objects and as human material with cultural and existential connections. The chapter describes the curatorial strategies behind the exhibition The Body Collected at Medical Museion in Copenhagen, which sought to produce a synthesis between medical and cultural modes of display. It suggests that awareness of the controversy and debate surrounding human material has often resulted in exhibition strategies that either leave the collections as they areas medical or historical objects—or curate them so thoroughly that the questioning of medical practices obscures those practices.