Epigenetic Reset

Artist: Alexander Tarakhovsky
installation, video | Nucleic acid, enzymes, plastic, wood, metal, video | 2012

In the Fridericianum, Documenta’s central exhibition venue, Tarakhovsky presents an installation featuring the results of his research into environmental influences on gene expression. DNA sequencing of genes affected by fear (2012) is a video projection of shifting and quivering white dots on a black background, visualizing the relationship between emotion and genetic transmission. It could also be a map of the night sky. Nearby, in a display that’s a bit reminiscent of Damien Hirst’s science and pharmaceutical cabinets, although much less slick, 80,000 plastic tubes in neat rows contain small slips of paper transcribing 60,000 genes. A more interactive component in the center of the room involves DNA processing and provides samples for visitors to take home. As a whole, the installation asks for multiple levels of engagement in its striking and thoughtfully crafted demonstration of cutting-edge relationships between the external environment and the body’s deepest interiors.


Documenta 13 | 2012.06.09 - 2012.09.16 | Brüder-Grimm-Museum | documenta-Halle(Kassel, Germany) | Hauptbahnhof(Kassel, Germany) | Karlsaue | Karlsaue park(Kassel, Germany) | Museum Fridericianum(Kassel, Germany) | Neue Galerie(Kassel, Germany) | Oberste Gasse 4(Kassel, Germany) | Orangerie(Kassel, Germany) | Ottoneum(Kassel, Germany) | Untere Karlsstr. 14