I was delighted to have a work of videoart entitled BRCA2 selected for inclusion in the second International Festival of Short Films about Art and Illness at the University of Valencia in March 2016.
I was invited to speak about my inspiration for the project and my motivation to ´save a life´through empowering people to be informed about genetic pre-disposition to cancer.
When I was offered an exhibition to include the video at the Gabriel Vanrell Gallery in Palma, I chose to quickly to create artworks that would follow the same concept. Whilst at the festival the organisers of FICAE2 and employees from the Es Baluard Museum participated in a collaborative work with their fingerprints, as a metaphor for genetic information, to create a pre-planned and ´mapped´ artwork. The fingerprints physically connected the participants with the project and honoured those friends, family members and members of their community who may have battled the disease. Facilitating a physical connection with a virtual patient and their own mortality.
The collaborative artwork travelled back with me to Mallorca and was taken to numerous cultural events at the Es Baluard Museum and other institutions and galleries around Palma.
I was very brave with the personal information that I requested from the participants, and it is being treated with great respect. In addition to fingerprints from the first, second and fifth finger, I requested the personal identification number (DNI/NIE), sex, full name, age, residency, location of their fingerprint on the artwork and whether there was cancer in the family.
The participants were approached at random and were 41% femaie and 55% male, but 76% had cancer in the family. The age distribution was from 2-59 years and the majority of participants were from Palma but the distribution was international.
I was struck by the openness with which people would share their genetic and personal information for an art project, trusting that I would keep the information confidential.
The personal information about the participants!
The final artwork!