03/2011 ECR Today

ECR Today 2011/3

The X factor: The Visual world of Christian Lauer

In this high-tech century, it is inevitable that we should come to discuss the interactions between art and medicine. Christian Lauer, a German radiologist who has been living and working in Belgium for more than 30 years, has been fascinated with the idea of fusing the two for some time. This fascination has culminated in his X-ART project, which offers interesting new perspectives on the human anatomy.

His work is based exclusively on CT examinations and shows colourful previously unknown aspect of the human body, exposed freely and without limits through art, as opposed to the precision and certainty required of radiology. To produce an x-ray image you need knowledge and are assisted bij software to obtain perfect results. Aesthetic aspect are of little value during this procedure; technical perfection and the indication determine the final result. In contrast, Christian Lauer uses the magical and artistic possibilities of the picture; qualities you don't encounter in the traditional radiological approach.

In Lauer's new world X-ART, anatomical structures are hidden in the background. At first glance you may not realise what you are looking at, and it is only through gradual analyses that you can detect the secrets of the transformation. Lauer forces the observer to use the interpretive methods of a radiologist to discover the hidden reality.
The initial inspiration for his work was the daily experience of noticing radiological patients who look at their own x-ray images after an examination and then, after a short time, put the document back in their bags unable to really understand the image. This encouraged him to accept the challenge of creating a different way to engage with radiological document that would stimulate interest and fantasy within the observer. As Picasso said, "all that you can imagine is real".

Lauer's work has attracted much interest in Belgium and abroad, resulting in various exhibitions in Brussels, Gent, Antwerp, Barcelona, Rome and Berlin. His work reflects his personal experience of more than 30 years of radiology and human antomy, which he feels are among the most precious and miraculous things in life.
Art in radiology is another example of how the art of photography can be a dynamic and innovative proces that can create new ideas and completely new visual concepts. The basis of X-ART is x-rays, and the final result is a mirror to the universal elements of the human being.

Christian Lauer was born in Berlin and received his medical training in Fribourg/CH and Bonn/DE, and his specialisation in Köln/DE and Recklinghausen/DE. He was head of the radiological departement of the OLVV-Lourdes Hospital in Waregem (BE), in the Flemish part of Belgium, for more than 30 years. For over 15 years he was the organiser of the international ultrasound meeting, FIDUM. He is married with two daughters.
Contact: pc.lauer@skynet.be / www.art-in-radiology.be