More Than Living

27 Sep — 22 Oct 2022

Location: Galerie - Cité internationale des arts

More Than Living is an exhibition illustrating the links between contemporary art, health, biomedical research and the way in which, in a post COVID-19 society, we pay more attention to others. More Than Living highlights how artists are inspired by scientific research in the field of health, evolutionary biology, biotechnologies and their impact on the human body, as well as the body’s relationship with its environment and includes art works done in the framework of the Creative Europe collaboration project ART4MED. The exhibition will run from September 27th until October 22nd, 2022, at Galerie - Cité internationale des arts, Paris.

More Than Living is part of the 2022 edition of the OPEN SOURCE BODY Festival. This festival edition is conceived in partnership with the Cité internationale des arts, brings together 30 artists and 4 European partners: Bioart Society, Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology (DE), Waag (NL), Kersnikova Institute (SL). It focuses on the crossroads of contemporary art, biomedical research and the Other in a post COVID-19 society.

Artists featured in the exhibition are Albert Garcia-Alzorriz; Edna Bonhomme, Nazila Kivi, Luiza Prado & Jette Hye Jin Mortensen; Shu Lea Cheang & Ewen Chardronnet; l4bouche (Estelle Benazet H & Cindy Coutant); Martin HowseAdriana Knouf; Emilia Tikka, Oula & Leena Valkeapää; Maya Minder; Helena Nikonole & Lucy OjomokoClara Sukyong Jo.

Art4Med is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, which aims to support European projects in the field of cultural production and innovation.


Curatorial statement

In Theodore Sturgeon’s science fiction novel The More Than Human (1953), a group of humans with unusual disabilities and powers enter into a symbiotic relationship to create a self-sustaining living organism, composed of several individuals. This concept of More-Than-Human is taken up today in environmental philosophy to counter the nature-culture dualism and the hegemonic exceptionalism of the human.

If the exhibition More Than Living marks the need to feel more alive than ever in a post COVID-19 society, it also invites us to take a renewed look, “More Than Human”, at our existences in the terrestrial environment.

Based on multiple atmospheric, evolutionary, affective and bodily studies, the artists lead us to rethink our sensitive relationship to our environment, as well as the gestures and narratives of our evolutionary becoming. Inspired by this renewal of cultural geography in the time of global warming and mass extinctions, More Than Living makes perceptible the vulnerabilities shared between species.

Today we observe a strengthening of technological aids to medical practice, removing more and more the direct contact between the doctor and his patient. Nearly 40 years ago, philosopher and primatologist Donna Haraway introduced a feminist critique of the cyborg body. Her vision continues to accompany artists when addressing the robotization and technologization of reproduction, prosthetics or body augmentation, and the relationship between a certain militaristic vision of the body developed in science fiction and the medical science in the making.

Finally, the exhibition examines how certain social groups or individuals can be can be coerced, stigmatised or disenfranchised in a normative society.