A SCULPTURE of cast hip joints in a moon-like sphere is Gina Czarnecki’s showcase new piece in her The Wasted Works exhibition, which will open at MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester) this weekend, ahead of this year’s Manchester Science Festival 2012 (27 October – 4 November), and as part of an eclectic snapshot of the city’s cultural offer in Manchester Weekender (11-14 October).
She attempts to highlight the hyprocrisy of our culture, when a chair with a cushion made of fat revolts us, although we willingly inject substances and implants to alter our bodies.
Trophies is part of a display of unsettlingly beautiful artworks which explore the taboos in society around waste body parts, and how liposuction fat, hip joints left over after operations, or naturally shed milk teeth could be used for stem cell regeneration. Visitors can also sit in art deco chairs with cushions made from fat, or view a magical sculpture called Palaces, which includes real milk teeth donated by children.
Palaces is an evolving sculpture which Czarnecki will build during workshops at MOSI during Manchester Science Festival. Czarnecki is appealing for children to send her their milk teeth to help grow Palaces, and also wants to receive stories and drawings or find out what happens to children’s milk teeth in different cultures. These will be part of a growing on line exhibition on the Palaces website and some will form part of the exhibition as it tours. Look up this up here. Or post your milk teeth at MOSI’s donation boxes.
In The Wasted Works Czarnecki challenges our belief systems around waste body parts. She plays with the mystique around milk teeth, for example, and disturbs us by including them in a sculpture. She highlights the hyprocrisy of our culture, when a chair with a cushion made of fat revolts us, although we willingly inject substances and implants to alter our bodies.
Czarnecki said: “Waste body parts evoke so many taboos and emotions and I wanted to reflect these in The Wasted Works. My father was a concentration camp survivor so on one level these exhibits make me think of the horrors of war, but they are also a symbol of hope and regeneration as they represent the bones left after hip operations, the fat removed in liposuction, and the milk teeth shed naturally by children. These parts could be used in the future for stem cell regeneration, art or research but at the moment they are often wasted. I want to encourage more debate around this issue and challenge our prejudices around body part donation.”
Czarnecki is part of the Art and Ethics Advisory Board to help drive discussion about the ethics of using waste body parts from consenting adults.
The Human Tissue Authority was set up after the Alderhey Children’s Hospital public inquiry into organ retention in 1999, and provides licences for anyone who wants to use human tissue, as long as they have consent from a donor. Despite this scientists and artists are often reluctant to ask for consent from patients due to continued taboos and ethical concerns about the use of body parts.
The Manchester Science Festival explores the wonder of science with nine days of events inviting people to come out and play, create and experiment with science. There are over 100 varied events across Greater Manchester, from comedy, to dance, to art, to hands-on activities that everyone can enjoy.
This year’s Festival profiles results and events for an exciting mass participation project, Turing’s Sunflowers, which continued the work of Alan Turing’s study of mathematical patterns in nature with the help of over 12,000 sunflowers grown by people around the world.
As well as The Wasted Works, MOSI also has a programme of films themed on the railway as part of the Manchester Weekender (11-14 October). Manchester Weekender features dozens of events and hundreds of artists – in some of the city’s most iconic and historic spaces.
To find out more on Manchester Science Festival look up www.manchestersciencefestival.com
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