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María Fernanda Cardoso in the exhibition "Phallus. Norm & Form"

Does the phallus make the man?

GUM joins scientists and artists for a look at the nether regions.

The penis is everywhere. Where there are people, there are phallic forms: in prehistoric caves, in the graffiti on a WC door and in social media. Medical research is also overwhelmingly about the penis: female genitalia comes in a poor second. Is this justifiable? Or is this the result of unconscious or conscious social bias?

 In Phallus. Norm & Form, scientists and artists train their gaze on the nether regions. Is the penis in charge of reproduction? Are sex toys the result of scientific research? Does the phallus make the man - or quite the contrary?

In keeping with its commitment to provide a “Forum for Science, Doubt & Art”, GUM’s new exhibition presents a dialogue between science and art. The work of national and international researchers (among others, Piet Hoebeke, Guy T’Sjoen, Joz Motmans, Alexis Dewaele, Marieke Dewitte, Patricia Brennan, Nicole Prause, Helen O’Connell and Jasmine Abdulcadir) is joined by that of artists (including Berlinde de Bruyckere (BE), Maria Fernanda Cardoso (CO/AU), Murielle Scherre (BE), David Hockney (UK), Grayson Perry (UK), Man Ray (US) and Jean Tinguely (CH)). The Ghent visual artist Sofie Muller will be showing new work specially created for the glasshouses in the Botanical Garden.

Together with the exhibition, GUM is launching an extensive programme for the general public, with talks, salons, workshops and much more. These events are a collaboration between GUM and many other organisations, including çavaria, Sensoa, Wel Jong and Transgender Infopunt.

Pictured: Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Intromittent organs of Tasmanian harvestman modeled after electronic microscope scans, Suite of 9, 2008-2009. Resin, glass, metal, 11 in. x 2.4 in. x 2.4 in. Each piece is unique.