Wellcome Collection hosted this fascinating examination of what it means to be human, focusing on nine exemplary outliers of the norm.
Identity: 8 Rooms, 9 Lives at Wellcome Collection
The Identity Project was a nine-month exploration of the themes of Identity, run by the Wellcome Trust. Key to the Project was the major exhibition at their venue in Euston Road: Eight Rooms, Nine Lives.
Running from 26 November 2009 to 6 April 2010, this exhibition was constructed (from what looked like wooden crates) into eight rooms, each concentrating on a person (or a pair of twins) like bunkers of personality.
The rooms were filled with artefacts, projections, ephemera, possessions and written insights, delving into issues of self-image, public consumption and media manipulation.
As with all Wellcome Collection exhibitions, this was free and open to all.
We’d been working with Wellcome Collection, on the branding and publicity for this exhibition, for many months, so some of us knew every detail of every story before we stepped through the large glass doors and began our journey into the maze of crated rooms. Still, it was fascinating to see how the exhibition designers had put it all together, to tell the stories.
It was a fascinating exhibition, exploring topics around gender identity (long before that became an everyday topic), DNA, fingerprints and eugenics.
Each room could have been an exhibition on its own. Previous exhibitions (War & Medicine or Sleeping & Dreaming) had taken a single topic and explored it in great depth. But this took a huge topic and skimmed several fascinating surfaces.