About the Exhibition

The following anniversaries take place in 2014: ten years of the Medical University of Vienna as a self-contained institution, 20 years of the new General Hospital (AKH) and 650 years of the University of Vienna – three good reasons for seeking out one important turning point from the rich and varied history of medicine in Vienna and dedicating an exhibition to three personalities who were significantly involved in the birth of modern medicine. They are: Carl von Rokitansky and Josef Skoda, as giants of the previous century and essential pioneers of modernity, and Emil Zuckerkandl as a major anatomist and a key figure of Jewish Austria. In addition to numerous new insights about the human body that go back to these three titans of Viennese medicine, probably their most important achievement was their revolutionary, scientific approach to medicine. “Under the Skin” is therefore based on each man’s specialisms – pathology, inner medicine, anatomy – as well as on their shared method of precise observation to get to the bottom of things and achieve a causal understanding of the functioning of the human body. The scope of the exhibition extends to our own time, demonstrating high-tech medicine such as the latest imaging techniques. Using the examples of the heart and brain, it shows the possibilities available to medicine today for looking inside the body and treating it.

Curated by: Christiane Druml, Reinhard Putz & Moritz Stipsicz

As part of the exhibition “Under the Skin” and as part of the ongoing series “Chiasmata”, we present interventions from three contemporary artists that allude in diverse ways to the work and the importance of Rokitansky, Skoda and Zuckerkandl.

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Video works Anatomy and Cryonics
from Ali Kazma

The video works Anatomy and Cryonics by Ali Kazma (b. 1971, Istanbul, Turkey) lead from an anatomy lesson at the dissection table, as it essentially might have taken place in the time of the Second Medical School, to a controversial experiment of our own time, the freezing of body parts in the hope of preserving them for improved treatment methods in the future.

The film Da Vinci
from Yuri Ancarani

The film Da Vinci by Yuri Ancarini (b. 1972, Ravenna, Italy) shows an operation with the aid of a robot named after the Renaissance artist, impressively visualizing the options available to us today for looking into the body and treating it.

Projection Cases of Curiosity
by Ville Lenkkeri

Finally, the projection Cases of Curiosity by Ville Lenkkeri (b. 1972, Oulu, Finland) visualizes the fate of collections of medical history all over Europe, most of which originate from the second half of the 19th century and that have undergone an often-checkered history since then.

Detail | Josephinum