project

Miriam Simun Joins "Chimeras" Group Exhibition at the Bemis Center



Feb 02 2017


LOCATION

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
724 South 12th Street
Omaha, NE

In ancient Greek mythology, Chimera was a hybrid creature merging goat, lion, and snake body parts into a new whole. Today, Chimera is a term that describes a single organism with multiple, genetically-distinct cell lines. From bacteria and viruses in vaccines, horse urine in some birth control and hormone therapies, and the possibilities of pig and primate organ transplants, human and animal bodies are increasingly integrated in medical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnological realms. Chimeras is a group exhibition that explores the boundaries between these socially-constructed categories.

But what qualities define who is human and what is animal? While our minds, consciousness, and a capacity for complex thought makes humans human, our most fundamental biological functions, including the necessity of eating and defecating and the inevitability of dying, keeps us animal. Composed primarily of women artists, reproduction and the biological functions of the female body are important themes in Chimeras. Miriam Simun  enlisted the collaboration of breastfeeding mothers. Simun used donated breast milk to make cheese and offered samples at an art gallery she transformed into The Lady Cheese Shop. A video and diagram detail the production cycle for making Human Cheese while raising questions about food production, reproductive labor, and the commodification of human and animal bodies.

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