'Museum of Revelatory Fakes | MoRF'
Knowledge Exchange Fellow
Professor Patricia Kingori | Nuffield Department of Population Health Big Data Institute | University of Oxford
AR Hopwood | Artist
This Knowledge Exchange project will develop and enhance an existing researcher/artist collaboration which has taken place during a twelve month period in 2020-21. Through initial funding from an Enriching Engagement grant the Museum of Revelatory Fakes (MoRF) was created between Associate Professor Patricia Kingori (the Ethox Centre and the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities) and artist AR Hopwood. Kingori is a sociologist and the PI of the Wellcome Trust funded ‘Fakes, Fabrications and Falsehoods in Global Health’ research project which explores contemporary concerns about fakes in global health and what processes are involved in discerning the ‘real’ in everyday settings. Hopwood is a visual and conceptual artist whose recent work includes the False Memory Archive and a major curatorial project, Smoke and Mirrors: The Psychology of Magic at the Wellcome Collection.
In bringing these two disciplines together to understand and improve health and healthcare this project represents an innovative approach within the field of medical humanities. There are at least two main ways in which researching and understanding the fake can be useful for health and science:
1. Fakes can reveal often hidden practices, plots and processes - shining a light on areas which are not always obvious
2. Fakes themselves can be deployed to reveal other fakes - an example is the use of mystery patients in hospitals to expose fake doctors
As a public engagement initiative MoRF seeks to initiate interdisciplinary research collaborations that aim to explore the impact of the fake on the public health messages related to COVID-19, whilst interrogating questions of trust and discernment about the authenticity of messages among targeted groups. MoRF aims to map and curate a series of instructive case studies and present these first through a website and then in a series of public projects.