Anna Odell new artist in residence at the Centre for Medical Humanities


During the Autumn of 2023, the Centre for Medical Humanities launches its artist-in-residence programme. The first artist to take on the position is Anna Odell. She will be part of the centre's research environment and work on her own art project entitled "Psyket" ("The Psychiatric Ward"). Anna Odell is the author of several art projects that thematize psychiatric care, the most noticed of which is probably "Okänd kvinna 2009-349701" ("Unknown Woman 2009-349701"), from 2009.

Erika Sigvardsdotter, Anna Odell, and Ylva Söderfeldt. Photo: Petter Hellström.

- Mental health and psychiatry is a branch of medicine that often becomes the object of studies within the medical humanities, perhaps because of its nature as a fringe phenomenon between body and soul, medicine and psychology. Therefore, Anna Odell's project fits very well into our ongoing activities, says Ylva Söderfeldt, director of the Centre for Medical Humanities.

Anna Odell's project "Psyket" is a video work that explores the dynamics of a staff group when complex social situations arise between patients and caregivers in an inpatient psychiatry ward. Within the framework of this artist-in-residence, an open symposium will be organized on the theme "Art in research - Research in art" about how artists and researchers can develop new knowledge by approaching each other's practices and knowledge traditions.

- I strongly believe in interdisciplinary collaborations and was so incredibly happy when I got the opportunity to make an artistic work in dialogue with researchers from several different fields, says Anna Odell.

With the new artist in residence programme, the Centre for Medical Humanities wants to promote artistic perspectives on medicine, pharmacy and healthcare, as well as the societal and cultural issues that relate to them. The objective of the initiative is to investigate and develop new forms of knowledge exchange between artists, researchers and students, in order to thus widen the perspectives with which we investigate and understand phenomena and processes related to medical humanities.

- Inviting active artists through an artist in residence initiative is a way for us to also bring in artistic perspectives on medicine, care and health into this already interdisciplinary field, says Ylva Söderfeldt.

The Centre for Medical Humanities is a collaboration between the Faculty of Arts, History and Philosophy, the Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, and the Department of History of Science and Ideas. The Centre forms a platform for research and multidisciplinary dialogue on issues related to medicine and health, and drives and coordinates initiatives in education.

Medical humanities is a multidisciplinary field of research, where questions related to medicine, disease and health are placed in a historical, cultural and social context. It includes, among other things, studies of the individual's experiences of illness and health, and the development of medical practices and societal perspectives on health care. The centre facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations and the researchers learn to move between the different knowledge traditions that characterize these different scientific areas. In recent years, this type of research and teaching has gained more and more influence at Swedish universities.


Last modified: 2023-08-31