genetic art

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Xavier Moehr is the one of the few contemporary artists connected to an artistic revolution brushing traditional representations of reality. In creating a new artistic language he is one of the pillars to the transformation of consciousnesses and art communication in this beginning of the new millennium.
Far from fantasy and based on the most recent scientific discoveries, comparisons between art and genetics already exist in the United States where artists and top scientists spontaneously come together on common university grounds.
In France this is a premiere. But as the osmoses between the twelfth century glass-worker and the alchemist, creating the eternal stained-glass windows we well know, today such advanced research between art and genetics will uncover new meaning for the mutation of contemporary art.
To summarize Moehr’s point:
-/ These paintings propose a new definition of human identity.
Revolutionizing the topic, Moehr states that tomorrow’s identification card is not to be found in psychological projections or within social categories but in the genes. Unique to each of us, the whole of our identity is contained in the genome. At a first glance these paintings look identical, but they are all different.
Throughout history masters have agreed that each individual responds to a special “note”, and that throughout the entire universe, none is identical .
Just as a music score with cut sequences, Xavier Moehr transcribes an aspect of this special note.
-/ Looking at these paintings, the observer looses his boundaries while facing this both real and anciently virtual new language.
Perceptible to the human eye thanks to the machine, the limits of virtuality are pushed back as an overlap of the world and its’ components lead us to unicity.
Debate between reality and virtuality becomes history when meeting and melting with this direct representation of Life.
-/ In a new approach to our perceptions of the insides and hidden dimensions of life, “Each image has a destiny of growth”, wrote Bachelard. These sequences of the infinitely small, computer-processed by the biologist, perfectly obey to this statement.
The paintings of Xavier Moehr expand our ranges of perception beyond common reality and into the unattainable. Amidst artistic expression and scientific imagery, and beyond an introduction to a new portrait art, Xavier Moehr’s art finds an educative function that has often been used throughout art history.
In his famous novel The Unknown Masterpiece, Balzac describes the impossible quest of a painter who in the attempt to depict true essence of man on his canvas, and to reach perfect resemblance, confounds himself with his model. Many generations of portraitists have attempted to approach human essence with different aspects of the human being, its’ physique, social status, psychology, and character structures. Xavier Moehr chooses to renew the genre, and to do so, leans on scientific progress in genetics. The artist draws a sample of blood from his model, has it analyzed by a laboratory and obtains a graphic of an isolated sequence representing his genetic code; he then reproduces it in acrylic on large format.
This method for the “genetic portrait” enables the artist to leave the world of imitation and to explore another problematic which is : Art as a tool for Communication. Indeed, art seldom imitates nature, it retranscribes its’ language and its’ essence.
Plastically analogical to seismographic drawings, Xavier Moehr’s paintings bypass artistic codes in order to adopt a more universal writing, transcending all styles. This scripture ‘among the living’ seems to be uniform, as incomprehensible and monotonous as a banal bar code. The only clue giving us a chance to trace the individual is, in the end, the name that explicitly figures at the bottom of each canvas.
In the 1970’s conceptual artists tried to create an objective form of art by integrating scientific language in their catalogues.
While revealing profound individual intimacy the works of Xavier Moehr access irrefutable objectiveness, stripped of all artifice.
Fabienne Fulcheri