Earth Anatomical Theatre


After a long and broad research into the history of the anatomical theatre, I started a project that would end in 2014 in the building of an Anatomical Theatre of the Earth, in the island of Itaparica, in Bahia, Brazil. This Earth Anatomical Theatre was a temporary circular and partly underground wooden theatre, based on the Anatomical Theatre in Padua (IT, 1594).

In the 17th century, the Anatomical Theatre facilitated the opening up of corpses in the Old World – to gain direct knowledge of the inside of the body for the advancement of medical science – while the colonial powers set out to encounter and conquer the New World – to expand knowledge, influence, control, profits etc.

In the 21st century, the Earth Anatomical Theatre in Bahia – the place from which the colonization of Brazil started, a centre of slave trade for centuries – proposes an inversion of it’s original model: there is no cadaver in the bottom of the theatre; there is no ‘other’ at the center of the historical apparatus of knowledge. Instead, the Earth Anatomical Theatre assumes a function of an amplifier of knowledge, that it does not seek to control.