A Tissue-Engineering Installation Performance Laboratory

0 Posted by - March 8, 2007 - Blog

Bioteknica presents LiveLifeLab, a new installation and performance at FOFA Gallery, University of Concordia. Montreal, Canada. Not for the squeamish. Artists Shawn Bailey and Jennifer Willet (both professors at Concordia University) will conduct an experiment/art action in which they construct a functional tissue culture lab in the gallery, and continue their research into creating new living art forms for the duration of the installation. The exhibition includes objects the artists have prototyped, video and digital print documentation, an art performance site, and a tissue-engineering laboratory.

This work explores the specialized protocols which surround scientific inquiry and challenges the problems of access, accountability, and specialization that haunt science practice. If science is the ultimate ledger of legitimacy and hence creator of power, Bioteknica raises interesting questions and presents fascinating challenges to our assumptions about who it is that we think does, could and should control that power. The muggles, apparently, have some of their own sources of wands.

Bioteknica began as a virtual laboratory and developed into real biological science experiments. The artists are now engaged in growing organisms modeled on an unusual cancerous growth containing multiple tissues like hair, skin, and nervous systems. Where does science end and art begin? Or should it be: where does art end, and science begin? Bioteknica embraces the creative threshold between culture and science. The work both celebrates and critiques biotechnology. It brings forward the contradictions and underlying complexities that biotechnologists have willfully ignored and places them on full public display in a gallery where any one can wander in and have a look.

FOFA Gallery (ground floor, room 1-715, 1515 Ste. Catherine St. W.) February 27 until March 23, 2007. A vernissage will be held Tuesday, March 13, 5:30 to 7:30.

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