May 27 - July 9
Opening Reception: Saturday May 26, 2018, 7pm
By Victoria Vesna in collaboration with Siddharth Ramakrishnan, presented by Building Bridges Art Exchange
Curated by Marisa Caichiolo
HOX Zodiac is a collaborative project between an artist and neuroscientist since 2008. Based on the Chinese animal zodiac and the Hox gene, it has evolved into a “dinner” that addresses through experience and dialogue our deep relationship with animals as companions, food and lab experiments. The artist and scientist seek to bring into the public this relationship in a way that expands the idea of the zodiac and puts the humans into the role of an animal that they have been assigned culturally. The project brings up issues of GMO and food in a very personal way and also points to the growing influence of Chinese culture in the West.
HOX Zodiac project has evolved into a dinner table with humans sitting as animals of the Chinese zodiac as a representation of the myriad of shapes that Hox genes can produce. Herbs and foods associated with each animal, which also cure ailments of specific organs, will be presented to the guests. Dinners served are based on food associated with each zodiac animal based on Chinese and Western medicine and Ayurveda.
The Chinese zodiac animals have equal parts farm animals and lab animals (and a mutant futuristic dragon) – which throws in conversations about farming, how we relate to our farm animals and what we think of lab grown meat. Each dinner participant will don a lab coat, signifying them as the resident expert/scientist – which we all were with regards to food before it became an industrial commodity. Guests will also be encouraged to share menu ideas based on the ingredients associated with each animal, which will serve as another way to share ideas over food.
UCLA ARTSCI CENTER