In collaboration with – lic. phil. I Martin Kluge MAS, Pharmaziemuseum der Universität Basel.
THERIAK | The Past in the Present, 2018-2019
Mixed media installation across the Basel Pharmacy Museum.
“British artist Sarah Craske presents artwork in dialogue with the Pharmacy Museum’s collections.”
In this installation, Craske and Kluge displayed new works and interventions among the collections of the Basel Pharmacy Museum, which were made in response to Craske’s residency at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering at ETH Zurich (D-BSSE) in 2017. The installation reflected upon synthetic biology’s relationship with its own past.
Through observational enquiry and collaborative discussion while working at the D-BSSE laboratories, Craske learnt about current synthetic biological approaches to fighting infectious diseases. As an ‘artist in the laboratory’, she critically reflected upon the knowledge gained, and working with the scientists developed new ideas and practical experiments that combined both scientific and artistic practice.
At the same time, in order to further understand the historic context of synthetic biology, she studied historic approaches to fighting and thinking about disease, catalogued within the Museum.
Continuing the collaborative approach to that established in the laboratories, she worked alongside the museum staff and discovered common philosophical approaches to disease both in our past and present, that have remained constant over centuries. The artworks and interventions that Craske and Kluge exhibited within the Museum’s displays highlighted these commonalities. They also reflected on Basel’s own past battles against disease and directly referenced Theriaca, a historical wonder and panacea that, at its peak, contained 64 ingredients and reputedly cured all diseases.
Theriaca and The Theriak Peptide
lic. phil. I Martin Kluge MAS
Dr Irene Wüthrich
Dr Steven Schmitt
Prof. Dr. Sven Panke