Lorena Lozano reflects about biomedical research with 'Danza infinita'

The work was selected in the open call for Production Grants and can be seen at the Art Centre between 10th February and 14th May

Published: Jan 21, 2012
Lorena Lozano reflects about biomedical research with 'Danza infinita'

Lorena Lozano & Marco Archinti. HeLa Cells, 2011

This February 10th LABoral will open Danza infinita [Infinite Dance], an audiovisual and performative project with which Lorena Lozano aims to open up reflection on the politics, rights and property of the body and the advances in medical and biological research. The work, selected in the call for Production Grants 2011 by the Projects Office, explores the ways in which biological sciences are in dogged pursuit of immortality and the transcendence of death. Both of these questions are exposed in an installation which includes the staging of a clinical test and a dance rehearsal.

Danza infinita. Biografía del cuerpo clínico y del cuerpo humano; un homenaje a Henrietta Lacks [Infinite Dance. Biography of the clinical body and of the human body; a tribute to Henrietta Lacks] is an installation in which images of epithelial cells, known as “HeLa” are projected. This cell line comes from Henrietta Lacks, an Afro-American woman born in the United States, who before her death in 1951 had cells removed from her body without her consent. These were the first human cells that could be developed in a laboratory and which are still used today in most biomedical research.  The story of Henrietta Lacks raises legal and ethical questions for those involved in research on biomedicine.

In parallel with this, a film recording is shown of the dancer Sonia Gómez in late pregnancy during one of her rehearsals. It stages, according to Lorena Lozano, the construction process of an improvised choreography at a specific point in the dancer’s life. If, on the one hand, biological sciences present the human body as being composed of separate and detachable parts, making up an interchangeability of organs without reference to body unity, the work of a dancer helps to reconstruct this body as a whole, bringing to the fore the continuity of its vital functions.

A graduate in biological sciences (Botany) from the University of Oviedo and in environmental art from the Mackintosh School of Art, Glasgow, Lorena Lozano has worked on environmental and community regeneration projects in Switzerland and Scotland. (The Hidden Gardens Tramway, Glasgow) and with the collectives: Sitesize, Ciudades Ocasionales and Idensitat in Catalonia, and also in programmes on citizen participation, territorial interpretation and landscaping and on the use of public space in the Barcelona metropolitan region. At the present time, she lives and works in Asturias and is a founder member and coordinator of the ecoLAB team - an art, ecology and technology project at LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Gijón. Her work addresses artistic creation as a critical and collaborative research process, connecting knowledge and methodologies from art, science and education, posing a study on the relations between human beings and the environment; and an exploration of the dilemma between culture and nature, dislocation and cultural identity.

Credits
Sonia Gómez, dancer and performer, Catalonia (www.soniagomez.com)
Photographic material: courtesy of Marco Archinti, researcher of Structural Biology at the Instituto de Recerca Biomédica [Institute for Research in Biomedicine], IRB, Parc Cientific, Barcelona. (Human epithelial cells -HeLa Cells- observed through an Olympus IX8 microscope. The cells were captured every 10 minutes over 24 hours by an ORCA –Hamamatsu camera - and processed with ImageJ software for an experiment with proteins).
Camera: Ana F. García / LABoral

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