Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Kira O'Reilly, speaker for Artists Talk Anatomy, gives an insight to her work ahead of the event

Kira O'Reilly

‘We keep our Biologies Intimate.

As an artist I have worked with ideas that concern anatomy on different scales and aspects. Early works, influenced and inspired by the sculptural practices of artists such as Louise Bourgeoise and Eve Hesse, approached the Body and as sculptural material, malleable, plastic and mutable. But bodies are time based, they exist as complex processes in time, space, society and culture, so I made performance art works that explored those subtle and intriguing connections but played out on my own body. I worked with a number of old blood letting practices, but removed the instrument from the medical ‘expert’ and instead held it myself of with a self proxy, as a gesture of autonomy and as an exploration of power relations. ‘Who can do what to who where?’ was a reoccurring and guiding principle in finding and occupying the edges of societal and cultural anatomies.

These works led to the microscopic anatomies of working with cell cultures and tissue engineering within both bioscience contexts and DIY domestic set ups, and included working across kingdoms, with the bodies of some of the other species we use as models, stand ins for the human, in our biomedical and bioscientific places of research. In my case pigs, mice, fruit flies and chicken embryos. With each I engaged in research activities and made art works that tried to position the ethical, aesthetical, affective excesses and complexities of the research. These have mostly been performance art works because the engagement that is sometimes possible in live, actual scenarios seems to allow and facilitate the non conceptual, sensous encounter that is so vital in responding to these scenarios and the wider backdrop of the accelerated techno-scientific contemporary that is altering our notions of body, anatomy and place.

Artists Talk Anatomy takes place on Saturday 30th November, 3pm at the Wales Millennium Centre: Full details can be found here:

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