The problem with bio-art is that it’s often made of living tissue — and sometimes living tissue gets out of control. That’s what happened late last week at a New York MoMA exhibit called “Design and the Elastic Mind,” where a tiny living jacket made out of stem cells had to be put to death for growing too fast and trying to burst out of its container.
The art piece was called “Victimless Leather,” and according to The Art Newspaper:
The artists, Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, say the work which was fed nutrients by tube, expanded too quickly and clogged its own incubation system just five weeks after the show opened . . . Paola Antonelli, head of MoMA’s architecture and design department and curator of the show, says she had to make the decision to turn off the life-support system for the work, basically “killing” it.
Ms Antonelli says the jacket “started growing, growing, growing until it became too big. And [the artists] were back in Australia, so I had to make the decision to kill it. And you know what? I felt I could not make that decision. I’ve always been pro-choice and all of a sudden I’m here not sleeping at night about killing a coat…That thing was never alive before it was grown.“