May 10th, 2017 - March 4th, 2018 - Man-Made Man – Technology and Medicine

Wednesday, 2017, May 10 (All day)
May 10th, 2017 - March 4th, 2018 - Man-Made Man – Technology and Medicine

The exhibition introduces the visitor not only to the history and the present of prosthetics as a specific field, but also to the use of technological substitutes across all fields of medicine. It uncovers ample collaboration of experts in medicine, electronics, cybernetics, mechanics, statics, design, and other fields, which precedes the development of unique prostheses and makes it possible.

From limb prostheses and dental implants to replacements of kidney, liver, heart, or lung function to nerve stimulation or compensation of voice, hearing, and vision, the Man-made Man exhibition shows the possibilities, perspectives, as well as limitations of replacements within the human body.

The image of technological replacement, reinforcement and multiplication of everything that belongs to man as a material being has perhaps become the central metaphor of the human existence of the 20th and 21st centuries. Technology is supposed to overcome the limitations imposed on humans by their physicality and mortality: telephones, television and the internet allow people to see and hear where their physical senses do not reach; machines augment the strength of human muscles thousandfold; computers amplify, accelerate, and replace the power of memory and thought. As Sigmund Freud wrote in Civilization and Its Discontents: “Now [man] has himself approached very near to realizing this [divine] ideal, he has nearly become a god himself. […] Not completely, in some respects not at all, in others only by halves. Man has become a god by means of artificial limbs, so to speak, quite magnificent when equipped with all his accessory organs; but they do not grow on him and they still give him trouble at times.”

The theme of the exhibition Man-made Man – Technology and Medicine is not quite the historical situation of man as “a god by means of artificial limbs”, but actually man himself “with man-made limbs”, and how people push their limitations and handicaps by means of technology.

The exhibition is organized in cooperation with Charles University and the National Medical Library.