Anatomical Theater

The Atlantean Theatre, the Rectors and an Anatomical Capital was exhibited at Spark Malmö in 2022. It presented selected parts of AT - HH’s work on the anatomical theatre of the Gustavianum in Uppsala, Sweden. In tracing the construction of the theatre in the 1660's as well as its reconstruction in the 1950's, we have come to understand its architecture as a means of promoting, perpetuating and legitimising ideas and ideologies by connecting narratives of Swedish exceptionalism and racial ‘purity’ with rhetorics of empirical science, fuelling and fuelled by the nation-building projects that took place at the height of the Swedish Empire and during the construction of the Swedish welfare state - folkhemmet.

Through the juxtaposition of speculative drawings, comparative detail study, selected archival material and interpretive mock-ups, the exhibition elaborates on the article Reconstructing the Anatomical Theatre in Uppsala, originally commissioned and published by L’Internationale Online and DAAS - Decolonizing Architecture Advanced Studies in 2021, in the e-book Architectural Dissonances edited by Corina Oprea, Alessandro Petti, Marie-Louise Richards, Tatiana Pinto and Roberta Burchardt. This text was also used as the departure point for a conversation recorded in the anatomical theatre between Mikael Ahlund (director, Gustavianum) Ulrika Dahl (professor in Gender Studies, Uppsala University), Irene Molina (professor in Human Geography, Uppsala University), Chritina Pech (architecture historian, KTH) and Malin Zimm (editor-in-chief, Arkitektur Magazine). The conversation was staged, moderated and edited by AT - HH into the audio piece Reconstructing the Anatomical Theatre in Uppsala, part II, which plays in and frames the exhibition.

Images: Rose Hallgren