The Board RoomMedicines as the thread through our lives
Digital exhibition on modern drug use
Almost every person uses medicines. One takes ‘the pill’, the other takes an aspirin to counter that flu-like feeling, a third is halfway through an antibiotic treatment. Our medicine cabinets are full, but we hardly pay any attention to the impact of medicines on our lives.
This exhibition is about drug use, about medicines as your life partner. Based on the artwork Wieg tot Graf (Cradle to Grave), which is exhibited at the Medicines Evaluation Board in Utrecht, you discover how medicines are connected with the social and medical events in your life. Moreover, you learn more about a number of medicines and their effects. Finally, you are introduced to a different way of providing information about medicines, which, like the package insert, aims to stimulate good drug use.
Cradle to Grave
In 2017, every Dutch citizen was provided with a medicine on average 15 times by a pharmacy. Using medication throughout one’s life thus comes down to thousands of tablets and capsules. Such numbers are difficult to comprehend. How could you imagine such large amounts?
The package insert
Every medicine is different: administration, form, composition, dosage, main and side effects can vary greatly. Which medicines are part of Cradle to Grave and what is their effect?
Text & explanation:
Pharmacopoeia. British artist collective consisting of GP Liz Lee, visual artist David Critchley and textile artist Susie Freeman. The trio wants to encourage spectators to examine their own medical and pharmacological history. Their art seeks the tension between the dependency on medicines in our society on the one hand and the ambivalent attitude we often have with regard to medicines on the other.
Peter van den Hooff. Studied history at Leiden University. Since 2013 he has been working on the history of pharmacy at Utrecht University and at Stichting Farmaceutisch Erfgoed.
Concept & realisation:
Realisation virtual tour:
Jelle van der Ster
Realisation data visualisation:
Marcella van Maanen
Hammersmith Hardmen Media
Nathalie Kuijpers (Utrecht University), Stan van Belkum (Medicines Evaluation Board, Utrecht).