University of Saskatchewan

September 22, 2014   

Imaging Reproduction: Sexual Anatomies – Past and Present

February 03, 2010

New cross-disciplinary exhibit at the Snelgrove Gallery, February 1 - 12/2010.

Reproduction means many things to different people and is a controversial topic for some. Exploring the various ways in which reproductive biologists “see” their subject, a new exhibit at the Snelgrove gallery at the U of S comes with a warning: you might find some of these images unsettling.

With this in mind, organizers Raymond Stephanson of the U of S department of English and Roger Pierson of the department of obstetrics and gynecology remind us there is a beauty in these images.

The show is not just about a history of imaging techniques and changing fields of perception, it is also about aesthetic fashions and practices. It shows the ways in which representations carry social and cultural values.

The gallery offers a striking history of images and imaging techniques, and also a lesson in how humans—then and now—created imagery to explain what they thought they were seeing.

From late 17th-century drawings of gestation and stylized images of the womb, when reproduction (or what was then called “generation”) was affected by the Scientific Revolution, to the images we make now with highly sophisticated technologies such as MRIs and 3-D and 4-D ultrasound-based techniques—the aesthetic and visual aspects of the subject are a powerful vehicle for communicating scientific and historical knowledge.

Meant to stimulate new discussion about how our research and teaching might benefit from trans-disciplinary work in the humanities and medical sciences, the exhibit is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the college of arts and science, and the college of medicine.

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