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Jennifer Willet: Laboratory Ecologies

Jennifer Willet: Laboratory Ecologies
Jennifer Willet, INCUBATOR Lab Wall Mural, 2013


Bogdan Luca, Nancy Anne McPhee and Trudy Perks: Guidance

Opening Receptions: Saturday, March 25, 2:00-4:00 pm
Artists will be in attendance

Hamilton, March 21, 2017: Hamilton Artists Inc. is pleased to announce its spring programming featuring a solo exhibition by Jennifer Willet entitled Laboratory Ecologies  as well as the group exhibition Guidance featuring the work of Bogdan Luca, Nancy Anne McPhee and Trudy Perks.

Opening Reception: March 25, 2:00-4:00 pm

Artist Talk presented in partnership with the Hamilton Arts Council’s Echo Artist Talk Series: March 23, 7:00 pm at Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)

Hamilton Artists Inc. is pleased to present Laboratory Ecologies, an immersive participatory bio art installation, and collection of artworks by Windsor-based artist, Jennifer Willet, PhD. Willet’s internationally renowned, seminal interdisciplinary practice combines contemporary visual art, biology and ecology. Grounded by colorfully modified, yet functional laboratory equipment, the exhibition mines laboratory aesthetics, and the messages that contemporary lab equipment design communicates to users. The visual language of cold, sterile, masculine, steel/plastic/glass used in laboratory technology design conveys a gendered, authoritative, and Western hierarchy of objective truth telling to audiences. Where as, Willet’s modified lab equipment visually re-connects this equipment to the bodies (and bodily functions) it attempts to re-create, the natural world, and the human drive to dominate nature through the natural sciences.

Exploring these connections between the human body and laboratory processes, Willet likens the lab environment to a complicated natural ecosystem; a carefully balanced relationship between a variety of organisms (and parts of organisms) inhabiting a shared environment: animal and human research subjects, cells, bacteria, enzymes, plants, the scientists themselves, and even unwanted contaminants engaging in mutually beneficial and detrimental relationships. Although these life forms are often not allowed to leave the lab, their by-products and research implications are transforming our bodies, our ecologies, and by extension our cultural and social connections with each other and the natural world. The equipment in Laboratory Ecologies, through its modification and display, makes disciplines of biology, ecology, and the laboratory environment accessible to a diverse array of audiences by disarming viewers through its unique, quirky and colourful presentation.

This exhibition will be accompanied by a critical essay written by Roberta Buiani.

Dr. Jennifer Willet, Associate Professor in the School of Creative Arts, University of Windsor (Canada) is an internationally successful artist in the emerging field of bioart. In 2009 she opened a bioart research and teaching lab INCUBATOR: Hybrid Laboratory at the Intersection of Art, Science, and Ecology at the UofW.

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