2 July – 9 October 2022
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.
The purity of objects whose formal exigence – recalling the vocabulary of minimal art, somewhat distorted by the artist – brings a clinical dimension inherited from the imagery of literary or cinematic social science fiction. Behind the radicality of sculptures made of silicone, marble, or glass, organic forms – real or symbolic – appear silently, questioning our relationships with a hybrid world in which artifice mixes with the natural, the human with the non-human. Beyond, science intervenes as a major – disruptive? – element in the construction of our relationships with the world and their representations. Authoritative and fragile, it is the site of tension where boundaries between ethics and progress, between the opening of new emancipatory spaces and the accomplishment of dangerous mutations with irreversible consequences, evolve with worrying instability.
The body is present, mirrored as the central object of our preoccupations. Deconstructed, dismembered, evoked, transformed, infiltered, reduced to skin and organs, it forcibly invites itself, like daylight entering the sensitive experimentation zone of a scientist operating from a remote underground laboratory.
Project MC1R was conceived during the artist’s residence at Cellectis, a company that describes itself as “a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company using pioneering genome editing technology TALEN to develop innovative therapies for the treatment of serious illnesses”. The collaboration led to the conception of a hybrid plant, both human and vegetal, a Nicotina Benthamiana (species that is highly sensitive to viruses frequently used in research, notably for the Covid 19 vaccine) now carrying the MC1R gene, a human gene responsible for the complexion, for pale skin, freckles, and red hair – characteristics which also allow us to describe the physical appearance of the artist.
In the basement galleries of the Collection Lambert, the presence of this new type of organism within an unprecedented series of installations, sculptures, and videos promises an unprecedented voyage beyond the limits of the human and the vegetal, where the meeting of the two elements calls for new narratives, new ways of envisioning an environment that has become, irreversibly, heterogenous. Dana-Fiona Armour’s work will be shown in three major exhibitions in 2022 – in Dusseldorf, at the Venice Biennale, and in Stockholm at the Andréhn-Schiptjenko gallery.