Intended for healthcare professionals

Art Art

Unknown Quantity

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 01 March 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:505
  1. Deborah Cohen, final year medical student (
  1. University of Manchester

    An exhibition conceived by Paul Virilio

    Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris, until 30 March

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    Nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the sinking of the Titanic, the explosion of the US space shuttle Challenger, the attacks on the World Trade Center, the UK foot and mouth crisis—all these have been brought together in an exhibition that explores the concept of the “accident.”

    Artist Bruce Conner's work uses scraps of B-movie condensations, newsreels, and other pre-existing footage

    Unknown Quantity acknowledges that such catastrophes are rarely unpredictable or simply chance events, as the word accident might imply. And in this sense the thinking behind the exhibition is in line with that of the BMJ, which ran an editorial on this subject two years ago (2001;322:1320-1). But unlike the BMJ, which decided to ban the word, this exhibition does not take issue with it. However, it doesn't dwell …

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