The International Museum of Surgical Science, Chicago, is pleased to announce the opening of “FLUX: Responding to Head and Neck Cancer,” an exhibition curated by Dr Lianne McTavish, Professor of the History of Art, Design and Visual Culture at the University of Alberta. Presenting artists include Brad Necyk, Heather Huston, Ingrid Bachmann, Jill Ho-You, Jude Griebel and Sean Caulfield.

Through FLUX, art illuminates patient experience with head and neck cancer. The diverse works of various media, including sculpture, drawing, photography, video and printmaking, reveal aspects of the cancer experience that often remain hidden. Appealing to all the senses, they convey the confusion, catastrophe, and hope associated with a serious illness, showing that healing is an uneven and continuous process. The exhibition will not only raise awareness of head and neck cancer experience but also illuminate the power of contemporary art as a medium to communicate important human experiences and suffering in accessible and thought-provoking ways.

Beginning in early 2015, people diagnosed with head and neck cancer and their family members have shared details about their complex and multi-layered experience of treatment and recovery. The painful, lonely and stigmatizing journeys they have described, which are not easily conveyed through conventional research approaches, inspired the team to develop a research-creation approach, to co-build awareness and understanding of head and neck cancer illness experience, resulting in FLUX. The interdisciplinary project involves patients, artists and researchers who are collaborating to improve the quality of life of people who have experienced head and neck cancer.

“FLUX: Responding to Head and Neck Cancer” opens to the public on Friday 18 May 2018, with an opening reception from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The exhibition will run through 19 August 2018. Additional programming includes an exhibition symposium on the promise of interdisciplinary, art-medicine collaborative practice in the context of head and neck cancer, on Saturday 19 May 2018 from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm.

About the Museum

The International Museum of Surgical Science was founded in 1954 by Dr Max Thorek and is committed to enriching lives by enhancing an appreciation and understanding of the history, development and advances in surgery and related subjects in health and medicine. The Museum is located in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood and is housed in an historic lake shore mansion designed in the early 20th century by Howard Van Doren Shaw.


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