28 October - 29 October For of all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, “it might have been”

Overview: What might have been?

Drawing from Professor Carmine Pariante’s research showing 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, we present a one-to-one performance in which blood is metaphorically exchanged in a sound installation with accumulating wall text. Visitors will be asked to share a personal regret – a recurring theme plaguing depressed patients – which Dr. Lynn Lu will transcribe on parchment. She then invites participants to prick their own finger and place a drop of blood in a petri dish. In exchange, Lynn offers them a shot of anti-inflammatory beet juice. As petri dishes accumulate, filling with blood “inflamed” with lament, vials of detoxifying beetroot empty one by one. From a nearby wall, small speakers murmur layered verses of ‘what might have been’. This wall gradually fills with sheets of anonymous regrets collected from the performance participants.

Professor Carmine Pariante is Professor of Biological Psychiatry at King’s College London, and Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist in the associated South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. He investigates the role of stress in the pathogenesis of mental disorders and in the response to psychotropic drugs, both in clinical samples and experimental settings. His work focuses on depression and fatigue, with a particular interest in the perinatal period and in subjects with medical disorders.
His dream is that new therapeutic tools targeting the stress system will soon be available to alleviate the suffering of patients with mental health problems.

Part of the Becoming Blood Weekender.



This is a free event for people to drop-in throughout the day.

What do you bloody think?

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The Artist: Dr. Lynn Lu

Dr Lynn Lu is a visual artist trained in the USA, France, Japan, and Australia. Lynn exhibits, performs, and lectures worldwide: recent venues include National Gallery Singapore, Saatchi Gallery, Wellcome Collection, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore Art Museum, and Tate Modern. Lynn lives and works between Singapore and London.

27 July - 13 November Blood