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Bioethics at MoMA


Oh, dear. A dead mouse coat made from embryonic mouse cells. Was it ever alive? By whose standards? George Bush’s? How would we feel about a human coat made from embryonic human cells? And would we call it alive? and art?

This link from The Art Newspaper came to me from friend Steve Minicola.

I’m really not so worried that the mouse coat was killed prematurely. It does bother me that it got made in the first place, let alone exhibited at MoMA.

It’s one thing to want to protect stem cell research. It’s another to want to promote stem cell art–even embryonic stem cells from mice. The whole point of art is it’s metaphor, not reality.

I suppose that makes me against a whole range of art making. I prefer a picture of dead to dead creatures. (Oh, btw, I confess I find Damien Hirst’s work often disgusting, and certainly ghoulish. I’d just as soon define it as circus freak show prurient).

But just to muddy the waters even further, why are we making art out of dead insects these days (not that I’ve never crushed an ant or swatted a mosquito; but using their dead bodies for art…)? Are these creatures too not a form of life? I say no fully formed creatures for art; and no actual creature parts for art. Art is not the same as a scientific experiment, or research to find cures for real life.