In 1885, the Swiss gentlemen Christoph Theodor Aeby and Alfred Büchi, respectively an anatomist and an engineer, built the first model of a brain representing the nerve fibers and the emotional areas of the human brain for scientific and educational purposes. This creation was so successful in the nineteenth century that more than twenty medical and biological institutes throughout the world wanted one. The aim was to train doctors and do research on the human mind, at a cost of 500 Swiss francs.
Phantom Models is a cultural project – still in progress – to promote the artistic and scientific heritage developed through contemporary art. The goal is to locate all the models produced by the two scholars, exhibit them and pro-mote them through exhibitions, presentations, workshops, and conferences. It seems that, in many cases, these ancient creations have been lost or destroyed. Thanks to information published in 1884 by Professor Aeby, Fogarolli has been able to draw up a list of cities that bought this model and to reconstruct copies for the institutions and cities that have lost their original models. With this project, Fogarolli also aims to put a number of questions about the relationship between human and digital archiving. How far does the contemporary society system com-bine our chances of progress and construction of memory? Are we subjected to gears that facilitate and improve the preservation of what we really are or is the absolute abundance of data about us bringing us to adrift and obliv-ion?
1. Amsterdam, Original Model ★
2. Moscow, lost, rebuild ★
3. Turin, Original Model ★
4. Praga, lost or destroyed ★
5. Christiania (Oslo) ★
8. Santiago (Chile)
11. Groningen, Original Model ★
Institute of Physiology:
19. Moscow, lost ★
20. Prague, lost or destroyed ★
Research out of the list:
24. Philadelphia, USA, original model ★
25. Paris, 3 original models?
26. S. Petersburg, 1 original model similar?
27. Cambridge, Harvard University?
Phantom model 1, Amsterdam
de Appel arts centre, 2015
Phantom models 2, curated by Nadim Samman, Moscow
Trekhgornaya Manufaktura, NCCA
National Center for Contemporary Art,
MMOMA, Moscow Museum of Modern Art
Phantom Models 3, Turin
Anatomical Museum Luigi Rolando
Phantom Models 4, Prague
Hrdlicka Museum of Man and in collaboration with the National Medical Library
The original model was lost or destroyed.
Reconstruction of the model in scale 1:3
Phantom Models 5, Philadelphia, USA
Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Phantom Models 6, Kyiv, Ukraine
Special project supported by the Department of Culture of Kyiv City State Administration
National Museum of Medicine