Biomatter Unfixed

Date: 05.09 – 22.11.2019
Location: Giudecca Art District, Venice, Italy


Universal socio-political tensions and the rapid intensification of environmental crises, have been defining living in today’s world. Pressing matters seem to stem from the inaccurate perception of our human selves as well as the way we relate to our surroundings, founded on constructed binary oppositions, such as self/other or human/non-human as well as increasing prioritisation of human agency. Perhaps getting to know our tactile selves in an uncompromising, earthly and fleshly way, could completely transform the manner in which we see ourselves in the total workings of our political, social and environmental reality. In fact, due to rapid scientific and technological developments, be it DNA manipulation, genomics or cloning, body in its entirety is slowly losing the understanding towards its materiality as fixed and, instead, acquiring fluid properties. What happens if we start treating human bodies in a way we treat bodies of other living beings? What happens if we approach human biological matter as a resource that can be repurposed and given a new meaning as well as function?

Titled Biomatter Unfixed, the first instalment of Unbore project series, consisting of an exhibition and a symposium, will investigate the paradox of the human body. As human beings, we are simultaneously secured by and trapped within physical boundaries, which raises questions about the necessity of maintaining or dissolving identities, defined by selves and others. When we negotiate the boundary of the self through taking our bodies apart, it becomes difficult to define who is who, which, in turn, can open a way to a possible reconfiguration of our place in the total life fabric. Moreover, with the growth in demand on human biomatter intensifying, one can only assume that the new approach of seeing the human body as a sort of raw material or even a natural resource, will also become ever-increasingly relevant from an economical standpoint. Biomatter Unfixed will further seek to enquire how can we as individuals productively and resourcefully use our own biomatter readily available to us? Should such increased awareness of our bodies and its uses be perceived as a revolt or a compliance with the trending commodification? How can meanings and prejudices attached to human tissues, organs and cells but also secondary bodily products, such as sweat, urine, semen or tears, be turned around through their various uses in more familiar contexts?

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