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Victimless leather, R.I.P.

Victimless Leather, one of the works on show at the Museum of Modern Art's Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition, has claimed a victim: itself. Exhibition curator, Paola Antonelli, pulled the plug on the piece's life-support system last week, effectively "killing" the project, according to linkurl:The Art Newspaper.;http://www.theartnewspaper.com/article.asp?id=7834 linkurl:Victimless Leather;http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/2008/elasticmind/#/294/ was a miniature "leather" jacket, made up of a

By | May 8, 2008

Victimless Leather, one of the works on show at the Museum of Modern Art's Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition, has claimed a victim: itself. Exhibition curator, Paola Antonelli, pulled the plug on the piece's life-support system last week, effectively "killing" the project, according to linkurl:The Art Newspaper.;http://www.theartnewspaper.com/article.asp?id=7834 linkurl:Victimless Leather;http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/2008/elasticmind/#/294/ was a miniature "leather" jacket, made up of a living layer of embryonic stem cells supported by a linkurl:biodegradable;http://www.the-scientist.com/1991/3/18/1/4/ polymer matrix in the shape of a stitch-less coat. The work, by Australian-based artists Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr, was scheduled to grow continuously until the exhibition's end date on May 12, but it expanded too quickly and clogged the tubes that supplied it nutrients. Antonelli told The Art Newspaper in a linkurl:video;http://www.theartnewspaper.tv/index.php?vid=155&cat=0 that the jacket "started growing, growing, growing until it became too big. And [the artists] were back in Australia, so I had to make the decision to kill it." I reviewed the exhibition a couple weeks ago, and was struck by how alive the jacket looked. That's because it was alive. Now it's not. It remains to be seen how linkurl:animal rights activists;http://www.the-scientist.com/2008/4/1/40/1/ will respond. Rest in peace, Victimless Leather.
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