Curated by spazioSERRA and The Orange Garden
Critical text by Arturo Passacantando
On display from 04/05/2023 to 19/05/2023, from 08:00 to 20:00
Opening Thursday 04/05/2023 at 19:00
Lancetti railway station, Milan
Agnes Questionmark (Rome, Italy, 1995) uses performance, installation and sculpture to bring the viewer on a journey towards its root, questioning their genesis and presenting uncertain future potentialities of becoming. Questionmark received her BFA from Camberwell College of Arts in London and is currently pursuing her MFA at the Pratt Institute in New York. Her most recent solo show TRANSGENESIS was presented by The Orange Garden (London). In 2022, she was the finalist of Circa Art prize x Dazed. This year, Questionmark presented a performance at the Italian Pavilion of the 14th Gwangju Biennale and at the Centre d’Art Contemporain (MAMCO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Orange Garden is
a curatorial duo
a nomadic space
a incubator of dreams
Founded in 2015 and directed by Arturo Passacantando and Tommaso de Benedictis.
The Orange Garden focuses on exploring and reflecting on important contemporary social issues by exhibiting emerging and established artists. The project is born from a desire to produce and curate exhibitions that can present alternative visions of our future, past or present. The Orange Garden proposes experimentations outside of the traditional schemes, curating shows and exhibitions that can become an opportunity for dialogue on anthropological or philosophical questions. The objective is to transport the viewer to unknown lands, where they can abandon their notion of self and embrace new ways of being or seeing.
CHM13hTERT is a long durational performance by Agnes Questionmark proposed as part of unpostoIMPOSSIBILE, spazioSERRA’s current exhibition season in which the selected artists abstract their artistic experience from a physical space to an "elsewhere" that cannot be placed, through a continuous dialogue between inside/interior and outside/exterior. The performance is viewable from Thursday, May 4th to Thursday, May 19th 2023 at the Lancetti railway station in Milan.
Through performance, installation and sculpture, Agnes Questionmark creates immersive habitats that question the human body and its relationship with nature, heralding the birth of a new species, whose identity is yet to be defined. Combining art and scientific research, Agnes explores new hybrid and changing worlds, free from any convention, representing the potentiality and fluidity of being.
CHM13hTERT is a single cell that was developed to build a more complete picture of the human genome. For the first time in history, human beings are able to read and modify their genetic composition, through genomic editing techniques, such as CRISPR-cas9, which allow specific alterations to be made to the genome of a cell. To date, these techniques are being studied for the treatment of a number of genetic pathologies, but they also grant scientists the opportunity to consider our DNA as something malleable. If evolution is an endless process propelled by genetic mutations, and humans have the ability to engineer and interfere with the course of mutation, what will become of our bodies? Can we control evolution and become a new species by modifying our DNA or combining it with that of other creatures? What are the limits of what we can do with our bodies? The artist becomes a vehicle for exploring these questions and reconstructing the relationships between nature, technology, and the human.
In CHM13hTERT, Agnes Questionmark presents herself as a new hybrid being, whose questionable genesis is yet to be defined. Suspended for twelve hours a day for sixteen consecutive days, supported by a metal structure and a series of cables and straps, her body becomes a political vessel that challenges the power relations inherent in our current social structures. Agnes proposes an image shrouded in mystery, It is unclear whether an experiment is being conducted, if an operation is being carried out or if what we see is actual evolution taking place before us.
The performance aims to question evolutionary pathways controlled by science, technology and our own will; technology extends the potential of the body, to reconnect it to nature. Starting from the right that each of us has over our own body, being able to encode our gene means that, perhaps, one day we will be able to modify it and shape it as we wish. The result of this evolution will be a hybrid creature, a monster, as those who detach themselves from what society deems normal are considered. But are these monsters actually driving the change and progress of society?