Visual Art: WA Now – Biomess – The Tissue Culture & Art Project

16 July 2018

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8 September – 3 December 2018 @ The Art Gallery of Western Australia ·
Presented by: Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr ·

Is it art? Science? Or both. Including a range of strange, bewildering, rarely seen and, just maybe, brand new organisms, this exhibition defies categorisation. In the anniversary year of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the provocative project asks some moral as well as creative questions about how science operates today and might in the future.

Curator, Robert Cooks says: “For two decades Oron Catts, Ionat Zurr (and their various teams) have been operating in the most innovative spaces in the biological arts. They do not simply make aesthetic objects out of scientific activities but use their status as artists to become highly knowledgeable investigators and experimenters. In the process, they offer critical and confronting perspectives of how scientific ‘advances’ are rapidly changing what life and culture might be.”

The exhibition will be presented in the form of a high-end retail installation. In this, specimens from the Western Australian Museum will sit alongside live aquatic animals. These creatures have been selected by Catts and Zurr in close dialogue with Museum curators to represent instances where nature does not obey human cultural norms – nature’s Frankensteins. As the display set up implies, it will also offer a critique of the ways that humans commodify nature for our own ends.

This exhibition is a collaborative project between SymbioticA, Western Australian Museum and the Art Gallery of WA.

More info:


Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr Sponge – Biomess 2018 (detail). The Tissue Culture & Art Project. Collection, Western Australian Museum.

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Maureen Levy

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