From beneath the skin to its place in society, BLOOD: NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED seeks to investigate the diverse realms of human and post-human endeavour, from cutting edge research in immunology and genetics, to bioart works that use the medium of blood and mythical stories of vampires.
BLOOD looks at the internal dynamics of blood cells, eugenics, bio-politics and racism, alongside popular cultural tropes such as gender, performance, ritual and religion. BLOOD explores science, medicine, body, creativity, kinship and religious beliefs as well as many symbolic and cultural meanings.
BLOOD took us by surprise. In developing this exhibition, we’ve been amazed by the diversity of ways that blood can captivate. From artists to surgeons, designers to scientists — in any two contexts blood has an entirely different meaning. It can be a life-saving donation, or an obsession with the undead, a taboo or a commodity. Sometimes its symbolism is treated ironically, while other times it is grotesque, mythical or medical. Our human preoccupation with blood runs deep, and as a species we’ve had plenty of time to prod and poke, paint and proselytise about blood. So what remains? What mystery persists about blood, and how does this exhibition probe it? Why are we still interested in blood?
— Art and design
BLOOD immediately grabs your attention with installations that memorialise mosquitoes, and performances that mix human and and horse blood. Black Market Pudding tickles your taste buds, while questioning your ethics — how do you feel about sausage made with blood drawn from a live, but not slaughtered pig? Giant stitched tapestries by Franko B tell a tale of body, blood, and image, while all around you are medical apparatuses — some historic, some contemporary, and others imagined. Put your heart on display by getting your blood type tested, or by becoming part of the installation at Pulse Index — a giant canvas of visitors’ fingerprints and pulses.
360° TOUR AND MICROSITE
Scroll around the 360° tour of BLOOD, shot when it was exhibited at Science Gallery Dublin.
Each design element is designed to both compliment the visitor experience and intensify the engagement with the diverse content. BLOOD uses red, dark grey and red as it’s driving colours and strong angular shapes to create a visitor experience to compliment and support the immersive and sometimes unsettling content.
White plinths and furniture provide a clinical backdrop to the content, and a strong contrast to the red floor and dark grey walls. Small, personal cinema areas provide intimate experiences throughout the journey, while dark rooms, brightly lit objects and hands-on experiences provide the visitor with a unique and very unexpected dialogue with a diverse subject. Furniture is designed to be slightly lower than expected, as are the light fittings, to ensure the eye and attention is drawn to the content and away from any distractions; intensifying the exhibition experience. The deep red carpet, while referencing the subject of the exhibition, also absorbs all the usual noises of an art gallery; sound is muted and enclosing throughout the exhibition.
DEVELOPED BY OPEN CALL
BLOOD: NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED was developed through a unique national and international open call process, inviting existing works and new projects for participation in the exhibition from artists, scientists, designers, engineers, technologists (and anyone in between). Over 150 submissions were received from established and emerging artists and scientists all over the world, ensuring the theme of BLOOD is explored through a diverse cross-section of the best emerging ideas from across the globe. BLOOD was curated by Jens Hauser, Shaun McCann, Luke O’Neill, Clemens Ruthner and Lynn Scarff.
"BLOOD aptly reflects the complex space that blood occupies in our cultures... all grounds seem to be covered: history, pure science, crime, medicine, literary fiction, ethics and taboo."
"...a must-see chance to understand the role of blood in kinship, mythology, art and cutting-edge medicine"
- The Sunday Times
"Science Gallery's latest exhibition is definitely their most provocative yet, as it forces you to look at a substance that you might take for granted."
- Irish Independent
"...quite the dark, pulsing affair..."
- The Irish Times
"...a well executed balancing act of hard science, high art and sensory enjoyment."
"Twenty-five goosebump-inducing works"
- Metro Herald
— Johnny Vegas (@JohnnyVegasReal) October 29, 2014
— Dublin Airport (@DublinAirport) November 2, 2014
From the guest book:
"Liked the fusion of creative of techno with creative subject."
"Fascinating exhibits and very well explained"
"I'd think about donating blood now"
"BLOOD makes me respect blood and the job that it does"
If you are interested in receiving the full touring information pack for this exhibition please get in touch with our Touring Development Manager, Rob Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org.