DASA, Dortmund, Germany
DASA, or the Deutsche Arbeitsschutzausstellung (The German Health and Safety at Work Exhibition) to give it its full title, is a museum in which you can put on a pair of hygienically padded headphones and take a guided tour of the history of work. Behind this is the serious point that working people – whether typing at computers or tapping blast furnaces – are exposed to danger. Ear muffs, goggles and back exercises were all invented to protect the body during the production process. If the mind responsible for that body is to understand how vulnerable it is and how it works, clear images are needed. ‘Short Cuts – Anschlüsse an den Körper. Ein Cross-Over durch Kunst, Wissenschaft und Körperbilder’ (Short Cuts: connections to the body. A criss-cross tour of art, science and images of the body) is the wordy title of an exhibition that provides just that. The 17 artists involved use photography, video, installation and interactive computers. Curators Iris Dressler (art historian) and Hans D. Christ (artist) state that in organising the show they were interested in ‘surfaces’ and not in ‘physical feelings’.