AVIGNON.- After Theo Mercier, Stéphanie Brossard, and Quentin Lefranc, Dana-Fiona Armour is taking over the spaces of the Rendez-vous, Sous-sol program, dedicated to artistic research and emerging practices.
Born in 1988 in Willich, Germany, Dana-Fiona Armour operates in a world in which forms invent themselves in veritable mutagenic agents, transforming each other, and modifying the organisation of the spaces that they occupy, provoking in us a feeling of unsettled strangeness.
Man is here metamorphosed into a plant, but do not think this is a fiction in the style of those of Ovid.1
The Project MC1R was envisioned as part of a residency of the artist within the company Cellectis, describing itself as a clinical-stage biotechnology company using its pioneering gene-editing technology TALEN® to develop innovative therapies for treating serious diseases. The collaboration gave rise to the conception of a hybrid plant, both human and plant, a Nicotiana Benthamiana (a species highly sensitive to viruses often used in research, especially for the vaccine against COVID-19)now carrying the MC1R gene, a human gene associated with complexion, skin colour, the development of freckles and red hair, all of which allow for the description of the physical appearance of the artist.
Through this project, Dana-Fiona Armour continues her exploration of an unstable world in which the forms she creates stand as real mutagens, transform one another, and alter the organisation of the spaces they occupy, causing a feeling of disturbing strangeness in us.
The genetically modified plants took place like sculptures of a new kind, evoking The Metamorphoses by Ovid, the terrifying images from Crimes of the Future by David Cronenberg or the stories from Man a Plant by Julien Offray de La Mettrie. These plants stand as the centre of a genuine laboratory of transformations where installations, immersive videos, glass or marble sculptures unfold, while an unbelievable song resounds in the roomsan incredible litany in the form of an alert generated by plants audible only by animals until then.
In this hybrid world where the artificial blends with the natural, the human with the non-human, science acts as a keytrouble making?element in the construction of our relationships to the world and their representation. Both authoritative and fragile, it is this place of tension where boundaries change with a concerning instability between ethics and progress, between the opening of new liberating spaces and the achievement of dangerous mutations with irreversible consequences.
1 Julien Offray de La Mettrie, Man a Plant, 1748
Curator : Stéphane Ibars