Organized by Professors Tim Caulfield and Sean Caulfield, Canada Research Chairs in the fields of Health Law and Policy, and Printmaking respectively, in conjunction with Catherine Crowston at the Art Gallery of Alberta, the exhibition addresses the impact of the rapidly changing world of genetics, bio-technologies and human engineering, and the many significant breakthroughs, challenges and controversies that have arisen in the last decade with advancements made in new life science technologies: stem cell research, cloning, genetic testing. The works in the exhibition explore the complex and interrelated legal, ethical and social issues associated with advancements made in the life sciences over the past 100 years.The exhibit, which is sponsored in part by Genome Alberta, features works by ten artists or teams of artists:
- Christine Borland, a Scottish artist who works often have medical themes. Some of her previous exhibitions: Paradise Now: Picturing the Genetic Revolution, Simulated Patient, Anatomy Acts.
- Sean Caulfield (painter) and Royden Mills (sculptor) have collaborated on an installation "looking at hope and fear in science - particularly areas that raise bioethical questions"
- Christine Davis's works include scientific images projected on the wings of butterflies
- Liz Ingram (printmaker) and Bernd Hildebrandt (designer) have collaborated on a large fabrig print
- Eduardo Kac makes living art, including a transgenic green flurescent rabbit and "biotopes" - art made of earth, nutrients and microorganisms that are constantly changing.
- The collaborative work of Jason Knight and Fiona Annis is called CorpsCellule|6616. "It is an ongoing cycle of work that explores the intersections of the sublime and the grotesque. Unraveling the peripheries of revelation and concealment, employing the body variously as material, site and agent."
- Lyndal Osborne's Endless Forms Most Beautiful depicts a laboratory with colorful "enlarged seedpods in the process of genetically modification."
- Catherine Richards' work "explores the volatile sense of ourselves as we are shifting our boundaries - a process in which new information technologies play a staring role."
- Jennifer Willet is a founding member of the collaborative artist group BIOTEKNICA. Her installation represents a "laboratory ecology", complete with lawn.
- Adam Zaretsky is a "Vivoartist" who uses the latest biotechnology in his art. "His focus is on artistic uses and the social implications of molecular biology, tissue culture, genomics and developmental biology."
Should genes be used as an artistic medium? What responsibility do artists and scientists have towards the new organisms that they create through genetic modification?If you have an opinion on the topic, you should head over there a leave a comment.
There are also several upcoming public events at the Alberta Gallery of Art meant to foster discussion about biological art and bioethics.
- December 18:
Art for Lunch "Seeing Science: Exploring the Intersections of Art and Science" with Catherine Crowston, AGA Deputy Director/Chief Curator.
- December 18 and January 15:
Imagining Science Idea Exchange with a representative from the Health Law Institute, Law Centre, U of A. "The Health Law Institute provides public legal education and undertakes research on current issues in health law. The institute was intimately involved in the Imagining Science project from the start."
- January 15:
Imagining Science Artists Forum. "Edmonton artists who were part of Imagining Science reflect on some of the ideas and trends presented in the exhibition."
- January 22:
Imagining Science Idea Exchange with Mike Spear, Director of Communications, Genome Alberta.
- January 29:
Imagining Science Idea Exchange with Dr. Willi Braun, Program Director, U of A, Religious Studies Program
(via The Filter)
Top Image: "Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue", 2008 Slide projection on Morpho Butterfly by Christine Davis
Bottom Image: Detail from "Endless Forms" Installation by Lyndal Osborne
Tags:art, Imagining Science, biotechnology