Exhibitions Temporary exhibition

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Teen Body Struggles

22 June 2016 - 8 January 2017

Teen Body Struggles takes a thoughtful look at teenage anorexia and eating disorders and explores our ideas about what constitutes the perfect female body. The exhibition is a bold encounter between worlds that rarely meet and an invitation to reconsider the relationship between the body, culture and illness.

First put together in 2006 at the Musée d’Aquitaine in Bordeaux, the exhibition has been brought up to date by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum with the support of Geneva University Hospitals.

Contemporary problems of excessive bodily control under the dictates of slimness, as presented by fashion, women’s magazines and nowadays the social networks, are addressed through an original and surprising scenography.

Pre-Columbian fertility statuettes, a Venus Pudica from the ancient world and 19th century paintings of sumptuous women are placed alongside photographs of the thigh gaps, bikini bridges and other fashionable trends among teenage girls, as shared on Instagram, Tumblr and blogs. They show us the infinite variety of ideas of the perfect female body that have existed throughout history and among different peoples.

All in all, an unusual, moving approach – a mix of psychiatry and personal experience – reaches out to visitors through highly personal testimonies and artistic creations by former hospital patients. They share their stories with us, from downward spiral into illness to the long road to recovery.

A joint project of the MICR, the HUG and UNIGE, based on an exhibition by the Musée d’Aquitaine and the CHU in Bordeaux (Centre Abadie).