Unruly Bodies RCMG

Why are some lives more highly valued than others?

Since humans first appeared on Earth, no two have ever been the same. Yet somewhere along the way, certain bodies and minds came to be highly valued whilst others became viewed as problematic; as deviant and unruly, deficient and requiring adjustment towards a perceived idealised norm.

Exceptional & Extraordinary invited four artists to explore behind the scenes of eight of the UK’s renowned medical museums and – in collaboration with experts in medical history, disability and museums – produce a series of thought-provoking new commissions that examine our attitudes towards difference with the aim of stimulating debate around the implications of a society that values some lives more than others.

Initiated and led by the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG), University of Leicester, Exceptional & Extraordinary was funded by the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England. The project ran from 2015 to May 2017.

Wellcome Trust Print RCMG logo Leicester LOGO 2015

Shape Arts 40 years logo-final




Hunterian MuseumRCP     RLHM   Bethlem_v1_Pos SurgeonsHall-MAIN-Logo-BLUE-RGBlangdon down museum largeScience Museum_Logo_BlueThackray Medical Museum logo


Photo Credits: Sarah Lee, Christian Sinibaldi and Zbigniew Tomasz Kotkiewicz