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Corpus Extremus (LIFE+)

Exit Art
475 Tenth Avenue, corner 36th Street, 212-966-7745
Hell's Kitchen
February 28 - April 18, 2009
Reception: Saturday, February 28, 7 - 10 PM
Web Site

Suzanne Anker; Guy Ben-Ary and Philip Gamblen with Peter Gee, Dr. Nathan Scott and Brett Murray and in collaboration with Dr. Steve Potter Lab (Dr. Steve Potter, Douglas Swehla, Stephen Bopic); BioKino (Guy Ben-Ary and Tanya Visosevic); Dmitry Bulatov; Center for PostNatural History; Kathy High; Soyo Lee; Yuri Leiderman and Andrei Silvestrov; Stelarc; The Tissue Culture and Art Project (Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr); ULTRAFUTURO (Oleg Mavromatti and Boryana Rossa) in collaboration with Chris Bjornsson and Kathy High; Paul Vanouse; Jennifer Willet; Adam Zaretsky and the pFARM Collective

Stelarc, Extra Ear: Ear on Arm Kathy High, Petition for Lab Rat Shelter

Corpus Extremus (LIFE+), the second exhibition of Exit Art’s Curatorial Incubator Program, will present work by artists who are using bio- and media- technologies to investigate questions of life and death. Representative of a relatively new international trend, these artists are uniting science and art to challenge conventional understanding of both fields.

Prior to the eighteenth century, art and science were not separated as distinct disciplines, and were often joined. Thus a hybrid bio-art discipline is nothing radically new. Yet, the work in Corpus Extremus (LIFE+) represents a revolution in interdisciplinary research and practices and offers a critical evaluation of science and technology through art. This direct involvement of artists in scientific research and lab practices aims to demystify science through a cross-disciplinary approach; to provoke discussion about art and science as creative stimuli to each other; and to pose ethical questions to society.

The artworks in this exhibition deal with the transformation of our notions of life and death due to the implementation of biotechnological advances in everyday life. Recent innovations in science and technology are causing us to confront and challenge our conventional understanding of the body. Trying to reveal “the secret of life,” and to retain health, we are finding new ways to create living transplants and sustain life outside of the body. This possibility gives ground for the design of new organisms – hybrids, cyborgs and extended human bodies – that might be a new stage in an evolution with a questionable future.

The work presented in Corpus Extremus (LIFE+) is often composed of living matter and is intended to pose ethical questions about life and death, and such developments as the “patenting of life.” One of the objectives of the show is to raise issues about micro-life, artificially cultured cells, viruses, and bacteria in order to confront our anthropocentric hierarchies. Another aim is to address the use of genetic technologies and the possibility of engineered and commodified perfection.

Diverse in intent and realization, the work included in Corpus Extremus (LIFE+) is also in dialogue with electronic media. In addition to experimenting with biological matter, the works incorporate robotics and deal with the idea of the human machine. Corpus Extremus (LIFE+) presents a vision of our present and possible future that is poetic, political, critical, ironic and utopian.

Curated by Boryana Rossa.
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