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DNArt: gen.et(h)ics and visionary focus

Opening: 15.06.2002
Duration: 15.06 - 27.10.2002
Artists: Julia Kissina, Bjørn Melhus, Milan Knizak, Larry Miller, Brian Reffin Smith et. al.
Curator: Valerio Dehò

In partnership with: „Galleria Civica“ Trento

In collaboration with: Art Academy Urbino and Care Of Milan.

The Biennial

Multimedia has become part of our day to day communication. Each artistic act of reaction and search for new forms of expression is emerging from a perception of reality altered by electronic media. Instead of considering technology as the ultimate objective of research in itself, contemporary art concentrates on alteration of perceptionpatterns caused by technology.

This Biennial seeks to offer a platform of research and exchange to young European artists using various new and traditional forms. Common nexus will thereby be the investigation on influence taken by electronic media on perception and comprehension of reality. This art considers the immense relevance and necessity of technology in our life as a given. The only resistance it can offer lies in the possibility to appropriate new technology in order to radically invert its inflationary and commercial aiming. There is no need for art to enter an impossible competition for innovation with technology. But by means of creativity and awareness art can render technology intelligible to the public and allows a process of self-reflection to begin. An ethical and social approach to art seems essential again: since art grew closer to advertisement and gained enhanced event-character, artistic research has diminished and its tendency to neglect a critical view on reality has increased. Our exhibition therefore does not understand itself merely as a showroom for new electronic art as many other festivals of this kind propose. Rather then focussing on technology in itself, it manifests artistic possibilities that grasp the alteration convoked by global electronic communication.

Subjects for the 1st Biennial: the GEN.ETHICS

For the opening of the Biennial a significant and demanding issue has been chosen. The recent acceleration and increase of genetic research is visible to all of us. Controversy raised by cloning, artificial insemination, gene-manipulation, and DNA mapping are topics of public discourse. Numerous artists have already felt the need to confront such issues surpassing the traditional connection between art and science. DNArt_GEN.ETHICS not only stresses the scientific approach scenery, but raises the question of responsibility and ethical obligation, that art needs to take on when facing such radical changes that affect us all. Last but not least an important value of art includes the anticipation of conceivable solutions and the stimulation of alertness concerning manhood’s future.

A research laboratory of creativity: the first Biennial offers room to ideas and their formal resolution and gives insight to the strong engagement of those working on comprehension and reflection of the coming.

The artists:

European artist working on the proposed issues will be invited, including work especially created for the occasion. Any additional suggestion by media-centers and media-archives are appreciated.

Julia Kissina, Bjørn Melhus, Milan Knizak, Larry Miller, Brian Reffin Smith,

Tyyne Claudia Pollmann, Andreas Horlitz, Elisabeth Wörndl, Lorenza Lucchi Basili, Julia Schrader, Suzanne Anker, Tobias Madörin, Annachiara Mongiello, Dominique Tirincanti, Salis & Vitangeli, Costantino Ciervo, Arnold Mario Dall’O, Alighiero & Boetti, Silvano Tessarollo, Karen Yurkovich, Santolo De Luca, Martin Kippenberger, Peter Kogler, Eduardo Kac, Paul Feichter, Myriam Laplante, Matteo Basilé, Ottmar Kiefer, Zvonka Simcic & Tanja Vujinovic, Karin Anderson, Andreja Kuluncic.


The exhibition will be divided into following sections:

The Duplicate (Mirroring, Cloning, Partition)

Transformation and Deformity (Monster, Hybrids, lusus scientiarum)

Metaphors and Analogies (representation of the DNA  as a sensorial- shift, semiotics as model of the world of biology and art) 


One of the concerns of contemporary art has always been the confrontation with the world of technology. 40 years after the avant-garde, that used massmedia as an artistic device, as i.e. Fluxus, the new generation of artists puts their work directly into relation with modes of expression, that have been extremely influenced and altered by electronic communication. It is not necessary to use technology for producing work, but it is sufficient to perceive the changes technology has provoked in our habitual communication, interaction and language. The Biennial at the Kunsthaus Merano Arte seeks to leave behind exhibitions that merely glorify the wonders of technology. At any cost it tries to escape a fairlike atmosphere of technological innovation, commercial disguised as artistic creativity. As history has shown the special awareness of artists and its potential to anticipate issues that only later revealed themselves to be important to all, is far to important to be ignored. It seems necessary to publish our program in order to encounter new ideas and projects and possibly vary or extent the upcoming agenda. Any references on artists and works are furthermore important for an eventual documentation in form of a catalogue. Particular attention will be paid to unpublished work.

One of the programmatic objectives of the Kunsthaus Meran consists in creating a decentralised, regional and supraregional network of contemporary art and culture. Our collaboration with the “Galleria Civica” Trento allows a decentralisation of the exposition and reaches so the wider area of Northtirol and the North–East Italy. An encounter and a platform for discussion on our subject with participation of theorist, scientists and authors will accompany the exhibition. An introductory didactic program in collaboration with the schools of the region will complete the realm of the presentation.