Installations, videos and projects in public space

by Oliver Ressler

anti Gene Worlds: Oppositions to Genetic Engineering

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An exhibition by Oliver Ressler in the Forum Stadtpark, bill poster series in Graz (A)

warning signs: Galerie Artelier (Graz), Galerie Fotohof (Salzburg), Galerie Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert (Cologne), Generali Foundation (Vienna), Kunstraum Lueneburg, Kunstraum Muenchen (Munich), MAK (Vienna), NGBK (Berlin), Neuer Kunstverein Aachen, Raum aktueller Kunst (Vienna), Shedhalle (Zurich)

Oliver Ressler has compiled a critical inventory of the public treatment of discussions surrounding gene technology. The artist’s project is conceived as a counterbalance to five “Gen-Welten” (Gene-Worlds) exhibitions taking place at present (Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Bonn, Deutsches Hygiene-Museum in Dresden etc.).

Ressler’s exhibition project “geGen-Welten: Widerstände gegen Gentechnologien” (opposing Gene-Worlds: Oppositions to Genetic Engineering) comprises of three integral parts. A poster series with warning references in Graz, warning signs put up in various art institutions in Germany, Switzerland and Austria (in the Galerie und Edition Artelier in Graz, the Generali Foundation in Vienna, the NGBK in Berlin, the Shedhalle in Zurich etc.) and the exhibition in the Forum Stadtpark.

The exhibition presents information material such as pamphlets, manifestos and information brochures of organisations critical of genetic engineering. The show is arranged in single thematic areas, such as genetic engineering in agriculture, genetic engineering and feminism or biological warfare, which are represented comprehensively.

An assault on a genetic engineering laboratory by the militant women’s group “” lead to the crimination of almost all opponents of genetic engineering at the end of the eighties by the economy, political world and media working hand in hand. “This crimination attaches itself to women who champion radical attitudes towards genetic engineering, who do not even let themselves become integrated in predetermined discussions on the level ‘chances and risks’. Genetic engineering is altogether an instrument of domination and control”, as one pamphlet puts it.

As the subject is very complicated as a hole, Ressler has included contact addresses of the individual organisations so that interested exhibition visitors can approach them.

(This text by Franz Niegelhell was published in the German version in the daily newspaper “Neue Zeit” on March 22, 1998)