BioMess: Call for Collaborators
Large display boxes holding scientific and biological specimens stand alongside each other in the middle of the room.
Photo courtesy Bo Wong

The Weisman Art Museum is organizing BioMess, an exhibition by Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr of SymbioticA an artistic laboratory at the University of Western Australia. The exhibition will celebrate the incredible diversity of life and challenge our perceptions of norms and strangeness in the natural world. In preparation for the exhibition, the artists invite scientists to propose examples of organisms in the animal kingdom that defy cultural ideas of the self, bodies, gender, sex, identity, and reproduction. Based on these proposals, we will form a collaborative team of artists and scientists to curate the exhibition. 


Proposal Summary

BioMess celebrates the diversity of life and makes non-charismatic life forms into objects of desire. 

There are many naturally occurring organisms that do not conform to human notions of identity, self, gender and sex. Through biotechnology, new life forms are constructed that defy any culturally-inspired classification. In the light of incredible diversity of natural and artificial life forms, frequent allusions to “natural” and “unnatural” in cultural debates surrounding gender and identity seem entirely unwarranted. 

This exhibition celebrates the incredible diversity of life and challenges our perceptions of norm and strangeness using luxury retail aesthetics to make unspectacular and queer life forms into objects of desire. It examines our attitudes towards, and the implications of, presenting life forms as art in a “monstrous” hybrid of culture, esthetics, and values, and acts as both a loose narrative and a critique of our anthropocentric view of life.

Artists will develop the exhibition in collaboration with scientists, who are invited to propose life forms and specimens to be included in the display. The resulting exhibition will be presented at the Weisman Art Museum.

Scientists are invited to contact Curator for Creative Collaboration Boris Oicherman at with ideas, inquiries, and suggestions. 


View BioMess at Cooper Hewitt

SymbioticA's website, University of Western Australia


Alya Ansari, Target Studio Assistant