Marta de Menezes: “Tetrahymena”
Cellular Interventions in Art with Marta de Menezes and Dr. Kim Sawchuk, Department of Communication Studies, Concordia University
March 3, 2010
Location: Lecture Hall, 1.114, CJ building
7141 Sherbrooke Street West
Bioartist Marta de Menezes presents on her recent project “Tetrahymena” co-created with Maria Manuela Lopes.
Joined by Dr.Kim Sawchuk, both researchers discuss the implication of working with living cellular organisms for art and researcher, particularly within the framework of gender studies.
“In a way, “Tetrahymena” is a challenge for the two artists, other artists, and the public to discover their feelings concerning the various social and biological preconceptions surrounding gender issues. We believe that to address conceptual issues it can be fruitful to have an “object” as a “facilitator” of the process. In this case, we found an organism – Tetrahymena thermophilia – that by having seven distinct genders we believe is the best possible “facilitator” to think about gender issues. The “Tetrahymena” project can be seen as a thought experiment, where the mediation of a live organism– as well as research process into the development of the artwork itself – facilitates the challenge of the viewer belief system concerning gender. Both researchers and the public experiencing the artwork are taking part in their own thought experiments about the raised subject of gender.”
(From artists statement.)
[Tetrahymena img from http://www.buffalo.edu/news/9003]