Virchow in the temple of trichinae Temporary exhibition, August 14, 2021 – June 30, 2022

In 1864, Rudolf Virchow published his “Darstellung der Lehre von den Trichinen, mit Rücksicht auf die dadurch geboen Vorsichtsmaßregeln, für Laien und Aerzte” (Berlin: Reimer, 1864). It is already clear from the title that Virchow was not simply presenting a scientific publication of research results. Rather, it is to be regarded as a handbook containing information and concrete instructions for policy-makers and society – including manufacturers and consumers of meat products.

In the same year, the Berlin company Schmidt & Haensch developed a microscope for the examination of meat for trichinae according to Virchow’s specifications. Starting from the trichina microscope as an epistemic object, the exhibition weaves threads to different themes and performers: The introduction of meat inspection, the trichinae controversy, colonial collecting, medicine as social science, etc.

The illustrator Jan Steins illustrates themes and figures on a magnetic wall, on which, depending on the constellation, these are sometimes in the center, sometimes at the edge. By physically shifting and exchanging the individual elements – in the context of a monthly round of talks – new focal points of meaning and relationships between the individual actors emerge.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)