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17 Jan 2011

Ernst Schering Foundation: Fingerprints... by Paul Vanouse

RVID by Paul Vanouse

Schering Stiftung


28.01. 2011 - 26.03.2011 Biomedia Art by Paul Vanouse | curated by Jens Hauser Monday through Friday, 11 am - 6 pm free entry

Friederike Plucinski
+49(0)30 20 62 29 65
+49(0)30 20 62 29 65

Schering Stiftung
Unter den Linden 32-34
10117 Berlin

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The exhibition Fingerprints… at the Ernst Schering Foundation's project space will showcase the performative installations and live laboratories by US-American biomedia artist Paul Vanouse. Curated by Jens Hauser, the exhibition presents the world premiere of the Suspect Inversion Center, an operational laboratory in which Vanouse creates identical 'genetic fingerprints' of criminals and celebrities from his own DNA. It also features new motifs of the Latent Figure Protocol, as well as the Relative Velocity Inscription Device – a cynical molecular race reflecting on biologically legitimized racism, in which bits of DNA, instead of bodies, compete by testing their 'genetic fitness'. The exhibition marks a continuation of the Ernst Schering Foundation's effort to promote the public discussion about the role of images in art and science.

Vanouse's biotechnological installations do not only challenge the codes and images of contemporary knowledge production but also question the methods behind (natural) scientific findings in general: What do uncritically accepted commonplace catchwords such as 'genetic fingerprint' conceal? To what extend does the technical construction of alleged naturalness notarize clichés and prejudices? Vanouse diverts biotechnologies and scientific imaging techniques from their intended uses, and amalgamates auratic iconography with technical images. Employing gel electrophoresis as artistic medium, he intentionally applies a method that bears analogies to photography: while photography allowed viewers to draw seemingly objective conclusions about human qualities based on physiognomic characteristics of the body, today, increasingly questionable social conclusions are derived from ontologized body fragments such as genes.

Fingerprints… is an official Satellite Partner of transmediale.11
, where it will be echoed by the live installation Latent Figure Protocol and a panel at the transmediale.11 conference on February 4, 2011. Supported by the Ernst Schering Foundation, the artist and the curator as well as internationally renowned scientists will enlarge upon the issues raised by the exhibition.

On the occasion of the exhibition, the anthology Fingerprints…Index, Imprint, Trace, edited by Jens Hauser, will appear in the Ernst Schering Foundation's publication series with argobooks and will be presented at the Ernst Schering Foundation on March 24, 2011 at 7 pm.

Paul Vanouse
lives and works in Buffalo, New York. Since his BFA studies at the University at Buffalo (1990) and his MFA studies at Carnegie Mellon University (1996) he has been experimenting interdisciplinarily with emerging media forms. His electronic cinema, biological experiments, and interactive installations have been exhibited in over 20 countries, including venues such as the Walker Art Center, Carnegie Museum, Andy Warhol Museum, New Museum, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes Buenos Aires, Le Louvre Paris, Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, Centre de Cultura Contemporania Barcelona, Casino Forum d'Art Contemporain Luxembourg, and TePapa Museum Wellington.

Vanouse is an Associate Professor of Art at the University at Buffalo, NY. In 2006, he taught at Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, China and in 2005, he was Honorary Research Fellow at SymbioticA, University of Western Australia. Previously, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Research and Computing in the Arts, UC San Diego (1997), and Research Fellow at the Studio for Creative Inquiry, Carnegie Mellon University (1997-2003). His most recent works have been funded through fellowships from the Creative Capital Foundation and the Tribeca Film Institute.

Related events in cooperation with transmediale.11

February 1 – 6, 2011. at Haus der Kulturen der Welt
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10 | 10557 Berlin

February 1, 2011, 9 pm | Performance Latent Figure Protocol
as part of the opening ceremony of transmediale.11 (starting at 7 pm)
HacKaWay Zone

Additional performances Latent Figure Protocol: February 3 and 5, 2011, 8 pm
HacKaWay Zone

February 2 – 6, 2011, 10 am – 4 pm & 7 pm – 10 pm | Installation Latent Figure Protocol
HacKaWay Zone

February 4, 2011, 2 – 4 pm | Panel Fingerprints? Identity, Indexicality and Biomedia
with Paul Vanouse, Simon Cole, Jens Hauser, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, chaired by Marie-Luise Angerer; Auditorium