Pain: Pasion, Compassion, Sensibility
- By: Vittal Katikireddi
A Wellcome Trust exhibition at the Science Museum, London SW7; from 13 February until 20 June 2004; admission free www.wellcome.ac.uk/pain; www.sciencemuseum.org.uk
Pain. Pleasure. Religion. Catharsis. This exhibition considers all these things, but, above all, pain. “This exhibition is about the cultural place of pain and how science and other ways of thinking have shaped our beliefs, our understanding, and our attempts to control it,” explains the curator, Spanish philosopher Javier Moscoso.
Moscoso has teamed up with the Science Museum and the Wellcome Trust to look at pain from its widest perspective. He explores not only the history of pain (including its evolution from antiquity to modernity), but also its effect on individuals and society.
“The physical, psychological, and social aspects of pain are universal,” Moscoso explains. “Its bounds-which are those of language and of identity-are also the bounds of the world. Pain is not, however, unchanging; and its universality has