DESMA 9: The Self and the Non-Self: Losing Yourself Through Immortality and Rejection

DESMA 9: The Self and the Non-Self: Losing Yourself Through Immortality and Rejection

Marta de Menezes

The Self and the Non-Self: Losing Yourself Through Immortality and Rejection with Marta de Menezes
3 May 2021 - 9:00am

This talk will explore the multiple possibilities of artistic approaches that can be developed in relation to Art and Biology in contemporary art practice and research. A special emphasis will be placed on the work developed by me throughout my career in the development of collaborative art and biology projects where the artist has to learn some biological research skills in order to create artwork and where the new knowledge brought to the field of art research derives directly from the practice of art. The conversation will serve to also discuss methodologies and the generation of meaning, critical making through critical thinking. To situate the inquiry, I will draw upon my work, using examples like “Nature?”, “Immortality for Two'' and "Anti-Marta". The underlying intention of my work is to question our biological commonalities and challenge our conception of identity individually, as a species, and as organisms while asking how the artistic manipulation of life shifts our sense of identity to give rise to new forms of (un)indentities.

Marta de Menezes (born 1975) is a Portuguese artist, with a Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Lisbon and a MSt from the University of Oxford. De Menezes is director of Cultivamos Cultura, the leading institution devoted to experimental art in Portugal and Ectopia, dedicated to facilitating the collaborative work between artists and scientists. Marta de Menezes has worked in the intersection of art and biology since the late 90s, in the UK, Australia, the Netherlands, and Portugal, exploring the conceptual and aesthetic opportunities offered by biological sciences for visual representation in the arts. Her work has been widely exhibited in major venues in all continents, presented in most anthologies devoted to bioart, discussed in doctoral dissertations, and considered an example of research in the visual arts. Among the most recent international exhibitions, de Menezes was invited for the 2019 Ars Electronica Festival: Out of the Box, and organized two 2020 Ars Electronica Gardens (Lisbon and São Luis). She was invited to be the official representation of Portugal at the London Design Biennale 2016 and exhibited at the Beijing Biennale of New Media Art 2016. De Menezes was nominated in 2015 by Time and Fortune magazines for the Art and Technology Awards 2015. Besides her work as an artist, de Menezes curated major international exhibitions including for European Capital of Culture (Portugal), Kontejner Festival (Zagreb), Verbeke Foundation (Belgium), and this last three years the editions of FACTT – Transnational and Transdisciplinary Festival of Art and Science that took place in Lisbon, New York, Mexico City, Berlin, and Toronto.

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