ARTICLE: A Critical Analysis of Patricia Piccinini’s Art: Re-presenting Biotechnology

It is also this immense potential – to alter life as we know it – that attracts the attention of Australian artist Patricia Piccinini, inspiring her to create a series of anthropomorphic sculptures. Through art, Piccinini contributes to the global debate on this controversial technology.

The blobs, while clearly engineered by Man, have their own lives. Folds of blemished skin suggest growth and age. Orifices represent means to intake sustenance and excrete waste matter. A thin layer of hair provides a mechanism to regulate basal temperature while a vertebrate suggests structural support for vital organs and a nervous system. Faithful rendering of surface textures contribute to the vitality of these lumps; the ‘stem cells’ are unnervingly life–like.

 

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