THE ART GENE – FOXP2 BY MARGUERITE HUMEAU
Marguerite Humeau is a French artist based in London. Her work is a mix of art, science, and technology. She has the ability to use her scientific knowledge to create physical experiences.
Last year we saw her first major solo show called FOXP2 at Palais de Tokyo. FOXP2 is a gene discovered at Oxford University in 2001. We have to thank for this gene mutation, happened around 100000 years ago, because it’s the reason why our brain was able to learn sequences of muscle movements needed to produce the sounds for speech.
A dark corridor leads to the biological showroom. In this corridor a celestial chorus – in loop composed of 108 billion Homo Sapiens voices – is re-invoking the origin of our language. But why so many elephants? Humeau asked zoologists and experts for over a year: what if FOXP2 would have never mutated, which species could have become the dominant species on Earth? Elephants is the answer, they seem to have already developed a consciousness of themselves, of life and, especially, of death. Humeau brings this idea to life with a funeral procession of 10 to-scale stylized pachyderms. Each elephant represents an emotion, reproduced by the injection of substances into each structure, ranging from real elephant tears, to fake blood, to alcohol, to hormones.
This is only a hint of what this artist can do. To see all of her projects you can visit her website.
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