BLOOD: Life Uncut Contributors win International Prize!

Congratulations to BLOOD: Life Uncut contributors, Professor Carmine Pariante and Dr Lynn Lu! Carmine and Lynn have recently been crowned the winners of the Art in Neuroscience competition, with their installation and participatory performance, For of all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, “it might have been”.  The annual contest held by the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, pushes researchers and artists to break away from academic papers and showcase our grey matter in a creative manner.

As part of the Becoming Blood Weekender that took place at the Copeland Gallery in Peckham over Halloween last year, Carmine and Lynn presented a performance in which blood was metaphorically exchanged in a sound installation with accumulating wall text. The installation drew inspiration from Carmine’s research that shows increased blood inflammation in patients with depression, as well as studies that show transfusion of young blood in old mice reverses aging, and from the proposition that a protein found in beetroot (incidentally, an anti-inflammatory food) could substitute human blood for transfusions.

Visitors were asked to share a personal regret – a recurring theme plaguing depressed patients – which Lynn transcribed on parchment. She then invited participants to prick their own finger and place a drop of blood in a petri dish. In exchange, Lynn offered them a shot of anti-inflammatory beet juice. As petri dishes accumulated, filling with blood “inflamed” with lament, vials of detoxifying beetroot emptied one by one. From a nearby wall, small speakers murmured layered verses of ‘what might have been’. This wall gradually filled with sheets of anonymous regrets collected from the performance participants.

Professor Carmine Pariante is Professor of Biological Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, King’s College London. Carmine is also a Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist in the associated South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. Dr Lynn Lu is a visual artist from Singapore. Lynn has exhibited, performed, and lectured extensively throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. Lynn lives and works in London and is an Associate Lecturer at Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London and Southampton Solent University.

Images are copyright of Dan Weill. News thumbnail image is copyright of Leon Grant