Dirt: the filthy reality of everyday life

There is a  new exhibition I want to catch at the Wellcome Collection in London (24th March - 11th August 2011) exploring one of the last taboos of our sanitary Western lives, dirt. However, looking down at my slightly mucky neglected laptop keyboard and screen I would say that some people are not so offended by a bit of "matter out of place". 

"Bringing together around 200 artefacts spanning visual art, documentary photography, cultural ephemera, scientific artefacts, film and literature, the exhibition uncovers a rich history of disgust and delight in the grimy truths and dirty secrets of our past, and points to the uncertain future of filth, which poses a significant risk to our health but is also vital to our existence.

Following anthropologist Mary Douglas's observation that dirt is 'matter out of place', the exhibition introduces six very different places as a starting point for exploring attitudes towards dirt and cleanliness: a home in 17th-century Delft in Holland, a street in Victorian London, a hospital in Glasgow in the 1860s, a museum in Dresden in the early 20th century, a community in present day New Delhi and a New York landfill site in 2030."


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