‘Palaces’ by Gina Czarnecki at the Bluecoat

Friday 9 December – Sunday 19 February daily 10am – 6pm. Free admission.

Children from all over the UK have been donating their milk teeth to a resin sculpture, created by artist Gina Czarnecki to stimulate a debate on the regenerative potential of stem cells.

Czarnecki’s Palaces sculpture has been commissioned by Liverpool’s creative hub the Bluecoat and forms a retrospective exhibition by this award-winning artist, featuring other works being shown in the UK for the first time.

Palaces represents a unique collaboration between artist Czarnecki and the biologist Professor Sara Rankin from Imperial College London.

Czarnecki makes films, installations, public art works and sculpture which emphasise human relationships to disease, evolution and genetic research. Her work is influenced by the arena of biomedical science and it explores notions of belief and thresholds of perception. Czarnecki is interested in the possible corruption of the human genetic mix, and her works raise significant questions about developments in the ‘life’ sciences and changes in culture, society and language.

Exhibitions Curator at the Bluecoat, Sara-Jayne Parsons said: “Gina’s exhibition features several film installations including the UK premiere of Contagion, a large-scale, interactive work that explores parallels between biological infection and the spread of information, knowledge, rumour and myth. Another film Infected poses questions about the physical body in the context of future technological possibilities seen through dance and manipulation.”

Significantly, the exhibition introduces Czarnecki’s latest works. Wasted is a series of sculptures, including palaces, that explore the use of human tissue in art, the life-giving potential of ‘discarded’ body parts and their relationship to myths and history. The works draw attention to timely concerns such as stem cell research and issues surrounding the process of informed consent.

Parsons continues: “Over the last three decades Czarnecki has worked in collaboration with biotechnologists, computer programmers, dancers and sound artists to create works which confront issues surrounding the convergence of biology and technology. She specializes in advanced technologies and elaborately orchestrates sounds, visuals and physical materials. Through sampling, generating and re-processing images and sound, Czarnecki transforms gallery spaces to create unique, immersive experiences.”

Palaces will tour to the Science Museum, Imperial College London and the Centre of the Cell, London in 2012, and the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry in 2013. The work received funding from the Bluecoat, Imperial College London and the Wellcome Trust.

Image: ‘Palaces’ by Gina Czarnecki