This symposium is organised by Brigitte Pitarakis
The famous aphorism of Hippocrates—“life is short, art long”— stands at the heart of this exhibition, which offers innovative insights into Istanbul’s Byzantine past. The fascinating coexistence of a belief in demons as the primary cause of illness and a rational perception of disease grounded in Hippocratic teachings come together in the protagonists of the “art of healing”—the physicians, druggists, saints, holy men, and magicians who healed the sick. They serve as central figures in this history, along with their resources, inspirations, and implements. The popular use of natural oils, balms, soils, and perfumes offer a glimpse into the world of the senses of the Byzantines. A selection of artifacts ranging from the Roman period to late Byzantine Constantinople helps illustrate the daily rituals involved in maintaining and pursuing well-being, protecting against demons, purifying the body and soul.
The symposium accompanies the exhibition
Life Is Short, Art Long : The Artof Healing in Byzantium
on view from February 11 to April 26, 2015, at the Pera Museum
organised by Brigitte Pitarakis
Interview of B. Pitarakis
Read the article about the exhibition in Timeout Istanbul Newspapers