FORMS OF HUMAN EXISTENCE
Ha’yarkon 19 Gallery, Tel-Aviv
Co-curated with Daniel Landau
Henrietta Lacks was an Afro-American woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951. A sample of her cancerous tissue was taken in the process of her treatment. Her cells proved extraordinarily resilient and as result launched a billion-grossing cell manufacturing industry. HeLa cells were used for the development of a polio vaccine, radioactivity experiments by the US military and even reached space. Widespread research use of the cells has resulted in the number of Lacks’ living cells being exceedingly larger than the number of cells comprising her entire body while she was still alive. Her story served as a point of departure for this exhibition.
Thinking about human existence and the changes it is about to undergo in the following decades ignite the imagination, as well as horror. Whether it will take utopian or dystopian forms is yet to be witnessed and difficult to picture. On the horizon are questions that deal first and foremost with the relations of the physical and the technological, the distinctions between spiritual and material and the moral implications of contemporary technology. The Post-Human is the protagonist confronting these fundamental questions. Its character unfolds through two separate and different routes. One in the form of theoretical critique against the humanism that sees man in superior dominion over nature; the other stems out of scientific-technological notions of progress reaching as far as a total shedding of the corporeal. The works in the exhibition are suspended between these two approaches, creating various possibilities and continuities in regards to life, human and a-human existence.
Participants: Aya Ben Ron / Hadas Ofrat / Ido Bachelet / Yael Frank / Freddy Kislev / Avi Pitchon / Boris Oicherman / Aïm Deüelle Lüski and Zamir Shatz / Shirel Horovitz and Rooly Eliezerov / Eran Hadas and Omer Markovitch / Tal Broitman / Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr / The Printers.