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Barbican teams with Wellcome Trust to explore arts & neuroscience

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The Barbican has announced a new collaboration with the Wellcome Trust that will see it stage a season bringing together the arts and neuroscience.

Titled Wonder: Art & Science on the Brain, highlights include Consciousness, an audio-visual performance lecture from Oxford maths professor Marcus du Sautoy, and a talk from Ruby Wax giving a personal insight into her journey from the heights of fame to depression.

The season, which promises "to light up the mind", runs from March to April 2013 and will also feature a film season exploring neuroscience and mental health on the big screen and a "theatrical 19th century Parisian Salon debating the big topics of 21st century thought".

Barbican managing director Nicholas Kenyon said: "The two cultures of art and science are so often perceived as remote from each other - in fact they interact on many levels, and this path-breaking collaboration with the Wellcome Trust will enable us to explore the riches of creativity and perception in a new way."

Clare Matterson, the Wellcome Trust's director of Medical Humanities and Engagement, added: "Scientists and artists have been examining the brain for centuries from different but often complementary viewpoints. Our exciting new venture with the Barbican will bring these two approaches together, delving into a fascinating, but potentially challenging, area of science and opening it up to the public."

Spotlight on Duchamp

Also announced today is the Barbican's full Theatre and Dance spring programme. It features three productions which form part of Dancing around Duchamp, a major cross-arts season centred on the artist Marcel Duchamp, bringing together "key figures from visual arts, dance, theatre, music and film who changed the face of 20th-century art".

The programme includes Robert Wilson's theatrical interpretation of John Cage's 1959 Lecture on Nothing, Cheek by Jowl's new French production of Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi (10-20 April), Barry McGovern’s adaptation of Beckett’s novella Watt (26 February to 16 March) and the Théâtre de la Ville-Paris production of Rhinoceros by Eugène Ionesco (14-16 February).

Further highlights of the spring 2013 season include three productions as part of the London International Mime Festival, Çia de Dança Deborah Colker’s Edinburgh International Festival show Tatyana, ENO presenting the world premiere of Michel van der Aa’s Sunken Garden, and "cutting-edge new work" as part of the SPILL Festival of Performance.


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