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Gene(sis) weaves art and science
From eNews, February 5, 2004
Who is the leopard king? He is half man, half leopard, and his picture hangs in the Weisman Art Museum's new exhibit--along with paper coffee cups demanding "Who owns your DNA?" and a frog in red shorts in a jar. "Gene(sis): Contemporary Art Explores Human Genomics" runs through May 2, 2004. Gene(sis) is an art exhibit that raises questions and provides commentary about the ethical and social implications of genomics, one of the most compelling issues of modern times. Visitors cannot help but think, gasp, frown, or smile when confronted with the more than 50 works by artists from the United States, Europe, and South America. The real and pseudo laboratory results, humorous reviews, digitally altered photographs, and large-scale installations are divided into four sections. "Sequence" explores the language and structure of genomic and genetic research; "Specimen" investigates the issues surrounding DNA ownership, personal privacy, and ethics; "Boundary" showcases the artists' investigations of transgenics; and "Subject" focuses on notions of individual subjectivity, family, and human nature in the wake of recent genomic developments. In conjunction with the exhibit, the museum--located on the Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis--is hosting a series of free discussions and films about art and science related to the Human Genome Project. For a complete list of events, see http://www.weisman.umn.edu/genesis/program.htm. Gene(sis) took Robin Held, curator of the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, Wash., more than three and a half years to develop. During that time, Held met with numerous artists, educators, historians, museum professionals, and scientists, including those working on the Human Genome Project. The Weisman Art Museum's hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and weekends, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays. Admission to the museum is free.