Schering Stiftung / Fingerprints...

Schering Stiftung / Fingerprints...

Schering Stiftung
Schering Stiftung

Dates: 28 January – 26 March 2011
Project /artist name: Fingerprints… Biomedia Art by Paul Vanouse
Curated by Jens Hauser
Vernissage: 27 January, 19:00
Opening times: Daily 11:00 – 18:00

 Dates: 28 January – 26 March 2011

Project /artist name: Fingerprints… Biomedia Art by Paul Vanouse
Curated by Jens Hauser
Vernissage: 27 January, 19:00
Opening times: Daily 11:00 – 18:00
> scheringstiftung.de

Paul Vanouse’s performative installations are live laboratories that subversively challenge the codes and images of contemporary knowledge production in molecular biology. What do uncritically accepted commonplace catchwords such as ‘genetic fingerprint’ conceal? To what extend does the technical construction of alleged naturalness notarize clichés and prejudices? Vanouse diverts biotechnologies and scientific imaging techniques from their intended uses, and amalgamates auratic iconography with technical images. Employing gel electrophoresis as artistic medium, he intentionally applies a method that bears analogies to photography: while photography allowed viewers to draw seemingly objective conclusions about human qualities based on physiognomic characteristics of the body, today increasingly questionable social conclusions are derived from ontologized body fragments such as genes.

 

This exhibition presents the world premiere of the Suspect Inversion Center, an operational laboratory in which Vanouse creates identical ‘genetic fingerprints’ of criminals and celebrities from his own DNA. The exhibition also includes new motifs of the Latent Figure Protocol, as well as the Relative Velocity Inscription Device a cynical molecular race reflecting on biologically legitimized racism, in which bits of DNA, instead of bodies, compete by testing their ‘genetic fitness’.
 

The Ernst Schering Foundation was founded in 2002 as an independent non-profit foundation promoting science, culture and projects at the interface of art and science. It facilitates the exchange of methods and modes of operation, as well as a more fundamental dialogue between artists and scientists about socially relevant topics. The foundation encourages interdisciplinary discourses by hosting exhibitions, talks and workshops in its project room. A central concern is to illustrate the methodological approach of ‘art as research’.

The exhibition Fingerprints… by Paul Vanouse, curated by Jens Hauser, is a continuation of the Ernst Schering Foundation’s effort to promote the public discussion about the role of images in art and science. The biotechnological installations of the American artist Paul Vanouse question the notion of the scientific image itself, as well as the methods behind (natural) scientific findings in general. This show is Vanouse’s first monographic exhibition in Germany. It will be echoed by the transmediale conference supported by the Ernst Schering Foundation, where the artist and the curator as well as internationally renowned scientists will enlarge upon the epistemological issues raised by the exhibition. 

 

Supported by the Schering Foundation.

 

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