‘Gene Culture’ at The Slaughterhouse73

gene_005_web.jpgTransvoyeur Associate Exhibition: Gene Culture 2006, Review – Re-Launch of the Gene Culture at the Slaughterhouse 73 Gallery.
Co-written by Jean Paul Debuffet, Tony Knox and Lucia Andrea Sweeney.
Photographer: Tony Knox.
Thursday 14 October 2006.

The controversial ‘Gene Culture’ exhibition was re-launched at the Slaughterhouse 73 Gallery (Liverpool, England) on Thursday 12 October 2006. The artists in the exhibition are Jonathan Aldous, Sigal Avni, John Bennett, Ken Byers, Sarawut Chutiwongpeti, Kim Fielding, June Kingsbury, Carrie Riechardt, Andrew Taylor and Kai-Oi Jay Yung.

The exhibition was first unveiled on 09 August 2006 at the Egg Space Gallery (Liverpool, England). In less than 24 hours it was closed down. The show was curated by Gaynor Evelyn Sweeney, as Guest Curator, invited by Headspace. Sweeney selected ten international artists from 250 submissions as far as Thailand to London. The standard of submissions was exceptionally high and the final collection profound and compelling on the subject of genetic and scientific intervention.

The management group of the Egg Space contacted Sweeney and accused her of ‘sensationalism’ by the selection of work and stated they would be boycotted by alleged animal rights activists. It was added that the exhibition was too ‘controversial’ for the nature of the venue, although for more than twenty years the Egg Space has asserted to being a gallery. Yet with this exhibition it censored contemporary art. The management group of the building and vegetarian restaurant demanded that all the art work be removed forthwith on 10 August 2006. As a result, several members of the original curatorial group from Headspace resigned.

This re-launch at the Slaughterhouse 73 is in a venue in an upcoming cultural area of area. The gallery itself is part of a larger initiative by Alex Corina who plays an active role, both as artists and curator in arts and culture combined with the current regeneration of areas in the city of Liverpool.

The exhibition was received positively at the opening night with celebrities from the cities cultural community as the renowned actor, Dean Sullivan and many other artists, curators from abroad and the members from the local community.
gene_culture_ken_byers_001.jpgThe artists from the ‘Gene Culture’ were interviewed by a German film company and Carrie Reichardt presented a performance intervention on the front of the gallery space.

The audience explored the diverse exhibits:

– The strange graphite manifestations of Aldous’ creatures inspired by H. G. Wells.
– Byres` architectural expressioxns transcended in states of evolutions from geometry to the organic.
– The image of Chungwongpetti’s visual critique of eugenics in east and west constructs.
– The dehumanisation in the ‘Creature’ by Hydrart (Bennett and Fielding) and imbued from Virilio’s philosophies of the super rationalists and eugenics.
– The fragility of Kingsbury’s road kill, bones cleaned white and encased into glass sculptures to denote by human intervention the space the animal once occupied.
– Reichardts realistic ‘latex’ sculpture of the pig’s heads worn as breast augementation, as commentary of body politics and scientific intervention.
– Taylor’s wall installation of poetry influenced by the philosophies of Burroughs, the deconstruction and reconstruction of cultural explications that audience members are invited to contribute the evolution of the text.
– Yungs inscriptions of mark making and digital editions explored concepts of time and space.

Those in attendance commented ‘provocative exhibition on a topical subject’ and ‘one of the best cultural platforms on genetics’.

The exhibition is open until Saturday 28 October 2006 at the Slaughterhouse 73 Gallery, 73 St Mary’s Road, Garston Village, Liverpool, England. For further information please contact the Curator, Gaynor Evelyn Sweeney, at transvoyeuruk@hotmail.co.uk

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