PICA will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein with the confronting exhibition HyperPrometheus.
Drawn from experimental, contemporary and biological arts, a diverse bunch of artists tackle life and death, reanimation, synthetic biology and the ethics of creation.
“The exhibition deals with the fear people have about technology and the future,” says PICA senior curator Eugenio Viola.
Lu Yang’s Zombie Frog Ballet comes close to Dr Frankenstein’s monster, with a video of headless frogs wired up and “dancing” to music in embalming fluid.
Controversial French artist Orlan’s La Liberté en écorchée (Skinned Liberty) challenges the conventional image of beauty, and features surgical representations of a woman; her muscles exposed in vivid colours.
Sam Jinks’ Unsettled Dogs is engrossingly beautiful and slightly repellant.
A doll-sized, dog-headed human couple lay in a naked embrace, so life-like you expect to see them breathing.
The sculptures are a nod to the jackal-headed Egyptian god Anubis, and Jinks uses his fragile creations to examine human communication and our destructive irrationality in relationships.
Probably Chelsea is a stunning series of small heads suspended at eye level.
The 30 sculptures by Heather Dewey-Hagborg are of former American political activist and soldier, Chelsea Manning (born Bradley Manning), and the portraits are generated by processing her DNA with a computer algorithm.
In the upper level of the gallery you can watch a video of beautiful, androgynous teenagers act out a violent dance, exposing a dystopian future in a fantasy landscape.
Other works in the exhibition are by Tarsh Baters, Erich Berger and Mari Keto, Erin Coates, Thomas Feuerstein, Hayden Fowler, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Olga Kisseleva, Daniel Lee, Kira o’Reilly, Nina Sellars, Justin Shoulder, and Stelarc.
HyperPrometheus is at PICA, James Street, until December 23.
by JENNY D’ANGER