Structured around what the Tissue Culture and Art Project has called “cultural perceptions of life”, Biological Imperative freely mixes ideas of partial personhood, the possibilities of regeneration, multiples, fecundity, the semi-living, and the undead (things that just won’t die.) The exhibition posits linkage between disparate references such as (but not limited to) the undying popularity of the zombie genre, rabbit imagery, pirate radio and bioethical quandaries.
Elio Cacavalle’s MyBio Dolls are educational dolls informed by consultation with bioethicists, symbolizing possible biofutures, and allowing children to imagine narratives for scenarios such as human/animal organ transplants. Brandon Ballengee’s drawings of deformed frog specimens collected throughout the world also create a sense of the unfamiliar: some frogs have too many limbs, some too few.
In Jillian McDonald‘s two-channel installation in the new media room, Zombie Loop, zombie and survivor are somehow the same, referencing the genre’s implied life cycle. The endurance of radio signals in the atmosphere links Charlesworth, Lewandowski & Mann’s video work, Radio City to the theme of the undying. The piece is a record of journey via boat to an abandoned sea fort used by pirate radio transmissions in the 60’s. After an altercation that left one broadcaster dead, his wife rowed to sea and played “Strangers in the Night” as a memorial. CLM mimicked this action in 2006, playing the same song at high volume over the open water.
The fecundity or productivity of animals, namely rabbits and bees, inspired other works in the exhibition, such as those by Aganetha Dyck with Richard Dyck, and David Blair. Dyck’s Hive Scans are large-scale color prints made in collaboration with bees, via a scanner introduced into a beehive. David Blair’s full-length film WAX was created over 6 years with footage shot on site at actual nuclear testing facilities in the US , flight simulation software and archival footage. The convoluted story concerns a beekeeper’s transformation upon discovering that his bees communicate between the living and the dead, and raises questions as to the collective and individual value of life.
Andrea Aimi, Brandon Ballengee, Michael Betancourt, Ana Black, David Blair, William Brovelli, Charlesworth, Lewandowski & Mann, Elio Caccavale, Sean Capone, Steven Dressler, Eva Drangsholt, Tagny Duff, Aganetha & Richard Dyck, Lucia Fabio, Asha Ganpat, Daphne Gerou, Nora Herting, Verena Kaminiarz, Jennifer Mazza, Jillian McDonald, Stephanie Metz, Lydia Moyer, Roger Sayre, David Sherry, Laura Splan, Brian Spolans, Ajla R. Steinvag, Naoe Suzuki, Delmira Valladares, Maria Wallace
Screening July 12, 3 PM
WAX, or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees
The exhibition is curated by Emma Wilcox
25% of artworks in the exhibition contain rabbit content.