You say: Identity

22 December 2009

 Hudson's Soap advert, c.1910. Wellcome Library/Wellcome Images
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Hudson's Soap advert, c.1910. Wellcome Library/Wellcome Images

‘Identity: Eight rooms, nine lives’ attracted a lot of attention not only from the media, but also from bloggers, who came, saw and reflected on what the exhibition had to offer. Like many, Matt Brown on the Nature Network found the theme of identity ‘somewhat intangible’ until he stepped into the exhibition itself and concluded that we’d ‘pulled it off with aplomb’.Laura Spinney, writing on New Scientist’s Culture Lab (exploring similar territory to us in the interzones of art and science) found the story of amnesiac musician Clive Wearing remarkable.

Londonist called it ‘barnstorming exploration of ‘self’’, but be warned if you come seeking enlightenment about who or what you are, though. Fisun Güner on the Arts Desk found the show ‘thoroughly post-modern in flavour: that identities are indeed slippery and fluid constructs made up of any number of things’, and  Jennie Gillions on Culture 24 warns that it’s ‘not an exhibition that offers any conclusions, and visitors shouldn’t hope for any’.

The inclusion of April Ashley provoked interest in some transgendered bloggers including  Paris Lees on the the Gender Trust blog, who calls April Ashley ‘a true trans legend’. Christine Burns talks to our exhibitions Project Manager Jane Holmes in the Just Plain Sense podcast. Trans blogger Is a Fish a Man on the other hand came for April Ashley but was captivated by Fiona Shaw’s performance as Richard III.

In the week the show opened, Fiona Shaw had her brain scanned while reading TS Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’. Such studies of brain activity help us understand how different parts of the brain are involved in different types of mental activity, but blogger Neuroskeptic has his doubts about the stories we tell about brain scans.

We want to keep track of what bloggers are saying about Wellcome Collection. If you’ve blogged about an event or exhibition you’ve seen here, or even something we’ve done online, please drop Danny Birchall ( a line and we’ll try to include you in one of our round-ups.