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McKelvey School of Engineering

(Un)masking Health: Counter Perspectives

Thursday, July 7 | 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

More dates through July 25, 2022

Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum
Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, MO 63112

As we continue to navigate in the United States both an ongoing health pandemic and an epidemic of racism, public health officials and media outlets are bombarding us with conflicting advice about how to protect our well-being. The research and policies related to these recommendations, however, often fail to address racism as a health problem too. To offer some insights for processing our current reality under masks, (Un)masking Health: Counter Perspectives asks a seemingly straightforward question: What is health?

While North American and Western European societies have traditionally considered health as a benevolent state of being free from illness, (Un)masking Health examines it as a contested arena embedded in exclusionary ideologies of race, gender, sexuality, ability, and class. The exhibition includes a range of artworks, from the 1960s to today, in the collection of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum in dialogue with archival ephemera from Washington University Libraries’ Special Collections. In addition to scrutinizing notions of what a healthy body is—and according to whom—(Un)masking Health also invites us to reconsider the role that historical and contemporary grassroots movements, including the ongoing AIDS movement and the Movement for Black Lives, have had in connecting issues of health and social justice.

(Un)masking Health: Counter Perspectives is curated by Ivan Bujan, postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in Arts & Sciences, in conjunction with his seminar “Queering the History of Health” in spring 2022.

The Kemper Art Museum is free and open to the public Monday, Wednesday–Sunday, 11 am–5 pm; closed Tuesdays.

Event Type



Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts


Arts & Culture, Medicine & Health



Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum
Event Contact

Ida McCall ida.mccall@wustl.edu

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