Offering the Body (2020)

Date under revision in relation to COVID-19

In the space of a former anatomy laboratory in a city historically associated with stealing human bodies for medical research, Offering the Body challenges patriarchal and anthropocentric assumptions in biotechnology by asking whether it is right for those in positions of authority to impose their will on the bodies of others.

Through a live performance and discussion, artist Louise Mackenzie offers (parts of) her body to both scientific and artistic research, whilst discussing with the recipients of her donation(s) how they will be used. 

Contrasting Edinburgh’s historical rogue trade in cadavers with contemporary uses of bodily materials in the work of biotechnologists and artists, this live performance questions whether some uses of DNA and cellular material are essentially ‘wishful thinking’ on the part of the biotech industry, and whether offering Mackenzie’s body (parts) to art may be as significant as donating them to science.