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Opening Reception: Jenny Åkerlund: Vitreous bodies

December 1, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join us for the opening reception of the newest exhibition, “Vitreous bodies,” by artist Jenny Åkerlund.

Vitreous bodies

By Artist Jenny Åkerlund

December 1, 2023 – February 25, 2024

Opening reception: Friday, December 1, 2023 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Free

Inside the globe through which we experience and interpret our surroundings, the jelly-like mass slowly changes its solidity which gradually leads to visual distortions in the form of shadows. These so-called floaters, visual traces of the aging eye, work as a starting point for the project Vitreous bodies and the exhibition at the International Museum of Surgical Science in which parts of the project are presented.

Vitreous bodies is an ongoing project revolving around the anatomy of the eye and the development of optics, with an emphasis on visual noise and entoptic phenomena. The project is comprised of drawn reproductions of photocopies, printouts and stills from dissection videos, together with glass objects resembling lenses and eye models. The drawings are based on source material collected both online and from ophthalmology literature published mainly in the 18th -19th century.

In the exhibition at the International Museum of Surgical Science, a selection of drawings and objects from the project are displayed both in the contemporary gallery setting and in the optical history room of the museum, in this way creating a dialogue with the permanent collection related to ophthalmology.


Light refreshments are included and alcohol will be served to guests with proof of age. Alcohol served to guests 21+; ID required.

Accessible accommodations include a ramp entrance and elevator. If you need additional accessibility options or wheelchair seating, please contact us at info@imss.org.

Parking and Directions can be found here: https://imss.org/plan-your-visit/

About the Artist:

With a starting point in the field of perception Jenny Åkerlund’s practice revolves around aspects of time and transformation in relation to visual culture. Through the use of disciplines like history of science and astronomy, and with techniques spanning drawing, glass and video, she investigates the impermanent character of the visible in different ways. This field of interest has led her to work on subjects such as human computers (women working in the field of astronomy in the early 20th century), scientific depictions in relation to objectivity, entoptic phenomena (visual effects occurring within the eye itself) and studies of material such as dust.

Åkerlund (b. 1984) holds an MFA from Malmö Art Academy. Her work has, among other places, been exhibited at Studio PRÁM, Prague, CAGE Gallery, Tokyo, Hagströmer Medico-Historical Library, Stockholm, DISPLAY, Parma, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Galerie Jeanroch Dard, Paris, Goya Curtain, Tokyo, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Pantin and Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago.

Website: jennyakerlund.com

Instagram: @j_akerlund

About the Contemporary Art Program: The International Museum of Surgical Science supports a commitment to contemporary art and artists through exhibitions and programs that use the frame of contemporary artistic practice to examine new perspectives in medical-surgical science and our relationship to the body. The Museum’s Contemporary Arts Initiative includes rotating exhibitions of contemporary art, as well as an ongoing Artist in Residence program.

This project is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

The International Museum of Surgical Science acknowledges support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.


December 1, 2023
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


International Museum of Surgical Science
1524 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60610 United States


International Museum of Surgical Science
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