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White Wallaby BioMess 2018 (detail)


Curator Robert Cook

  WA Now – Biomess – The Tissue Culture & Art Project (Oron Catts / Ionat Zurr)

  8 September – 3 December 2018 | FREE





AGWA celebrates free-thinkers, boundary-pushers and ground-breakers in the second half of 2018 through three contrasting exhibitions - Rebels, Radicals and Pathfinders


Based at the University of Western Australia, SymbioticA hosted the research of The Tissue Culture and Art Project (Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr). The artists have been exploring the intersections of science and art since 1996.

Together, and with their expanded team of artists and scientists, they explore the creative and ethical implications of developments in the biological sciences. They investigate about what science is doing, what it is capable of, and how our conceptions of life might be altered in the process and how futures might be shaped accordingly. In doing so, they also open up important questions about how we categorise life forms that ask us to rethink what it is to be human.

Their innovative work is internationally significant, and they have shown at major galleries such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China, and locally at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Art Gallery of South Australia, National Gallery of Victoria and the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery.

This exhibition, Biomess, is timed to coincide with the celebration of the 200th year since the publication of Mary Shelley’s gothic horror novel Frankenstein. In response, it looks at existing “Frankensteins” of the natural world, beings that confound our usual ways of thinking about animal life with a creative presentation of specimens from the Western Australian Museum and examples of real life animal “oddities”. It will also include new organicisms grown by the artists themselves at their labs in the University of Western Australia that open up new possibilities for temporary biological structures. Presented in the mode of a high-end retail fit-out, it will also look at the commodification of the natural world.

In their own words: “As life becomes a raw material for human desires, constructed life escapes science labs to become a medium for artistic and consumer products."

Biomess proves that there is nothing natural in nature.

Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr Crossing Kingdoms Biomess 2018 (detail)  oron Catts & Ionat Zurr Brash Tailed Phascogale Biomess 2018 detail



Once a month for 3 months | TICKETED
Delve into Australia’s long love of the anti-authoritarian, explorer psyche with this 3-part lecture series.

Rebels | Sidney Nolan's Ned Kelly series
10.30-11.30am, Saturday 11 August

Radicals | Biomess
10.30-11.30am, Saturday 15 September

Pathfinders | spaced 3: north by southeast
10.30-11.30am, Saturday 13 October


11am, Saturday 8 September | FREE
Meet in the gallery space to hear from Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, the creators behind the Biomess exhibition.


There is nothing like a personal interaction to spark the imagination.

Rebels, Radicals and Pathfinders Tours
11am, Wednesdays
1pm, Fridays & Saturdays



This exhibition is a collaborative project between SymbioticA @ UWA, Western Australian Museum and the

Art Gallery of WA.


UWA logo      SymbioticA logo

dlgsc logo        lotterywest logo


masterplanners logo   WA Museum logo



Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr
Sponge – Biomess 2018 (detail)
The Tissue Culture & Art Project
Collection, Western Australian Museum

Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr
Crossing Kingdoms – Biomess 2018 (detail)
The Tissue Culture & Art Project
Collection, Western Australian Museum
Photographer – Cat Thomson

Oron Catts & Ionat Zurr
Brash Tailed Phascogale – Biomess 2018 (detail)
The Tissue Culture & Art Project
Collection, Western Australian Museum






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