Exhibition: Voies lactées (Milky ways)
For 4 months, the Our Lady with the Rose Hospital in Lessines will be putting on a new exhibition: "Voies lactées - L'allaitement : Représentations et politiques" (literally "Milky ways - breastfeeding: Representations and politics").
Since the dawn of humanity, breastfeeding has aroused as many fantasies as tensions, between eroticism and mythological or sacred representations. The breastfeeding mother is also a symbol widely used for its political dimension, from Antiquity to the present day: isn't the iconic image of the foundation of Rome that of a she-wolf suckling two toddlers?
The exhibition explores these representations and myths through a selection of works, video documents, artistic performances and medical objects. The powers attributed to milk, not just nutritional, but also moral, the fascination for extraordinary examples of lactation, representations of the Virgin Mary, are all explored in turn, showing how breastfeeding is at the heart of
many aesthetic, moral, sanitary, religious and socio-economic issues.
The exhibition has been put together by the "Lactation in History" research group from the university of Geneva, Lausanne and Fribourg, enriched by pieces from collections from the ULB museum of medicine and the Our Lady with the Rose Hospital.