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Erika Ceruzzi's Studio : OPEN STUDIOS
Erika Ceruzzi [USA]

F1

1. Statement by Erika Ceruzzi
F1 is an installation; an environment to experience my research surrounding transgenic silk in Japan. F1 temporarily replaces the room number of my studio 1 and refers to an F1 hybrid, which in biology, classifies the offspring of two distinct parental lines.

My interest in genetically modified silkworms began with a fascination of silk’s structural properties. It is a hyper strong yet delicate, biocompatible fiber. In the United States, silk is being developed as a potentially bulletproof material for the military. This is possible through genetic engineering of spider DNA within the organism of the domesticated silkworm (Bombyx mori).

During the course of my research, I discovered that the relationship between human and silkworm is intensely intimate.

For generations, even as raw silk became a major export and source of economic growth for Japan, silkworms were raised in people’s homes, in rural regions where the silk industry had taken root during the Meiji Restoration.

With optimal conditions in question, I invite the possibility of genetic entanglement between silkworm and human. The synthesis occurs not in a highly technical lab, but rather, in a kind-of residential research complex. It is a hypothetical space, incomplete, and stripped down as a mere framework for imagination. I’ve altered elements of the former classroom in order to subtly re-contextualize the environment into a domestic setting.


2. Comment by Kodama Kanazawa
[ Guest Curator 2018 / Independent curator / Senior Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs, Towada Art Center]
After learning that silkworms were being genetically engineered to spin spider silk for the U.S. military, Erika Ceruzzi developed a strong interest in the political significance of the insect. During her residency in Japan, Ceruzzi discussed a variety of topics with the curator and the staff, including the long history of Chinese silk production, which began before the Common Era; the Silk Road, which connected various regions in Eurasia; and the role that the silk industry played in the modernization of Japan. She also considered some less apparent sides of the subject, such as the exploitation of female laborers and the study of silkworms in genetic technology. In addition, Ceruzzi made research trips to the Tomioka Silk Mill, an active silk mill and a silkworm farmer in Gunma, the Silk Museum in Yokohama, and the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) to broaden her knowledge of silkworms, sericulture, and the relationship between people and the insects.

In Open Studios, Ceruzzi presented the results of her research in the form of an installation. One notable aspect of the display related to the phenomenon of double cocoons – a cocoon created by two silkworms that is normally not suitable for commercial use. Ceruzzi also fabricated slippers for her studio visitors – a reference to the slippers required to enter the laboratories at NARO. This suggests her sensitivity to local differences such as notions of hygiene and ritual behaviors.

You might say that Ceruzzi set out to discover the geographical, historical, and physical politics contained in the material silk (a fabric used to make sculpture) and its origins.


Special Thanks:
Tsunenori Kameda, Keiko Kimura, Kyoko Koshiishi, Cihad Caner, Tetsuya Suzuki, Curtis Tamm, Michiko Noguchi, Shinsuke Hayashi, Hiroshi Hara, Erica van Loon, Hideki Yamashita
亀田 恒徳, 木村 恵子, 輿石 京子, ジハド・ジャネル, 鈴木 哲也, カーティス・タム, 野口 美智子,
林 慎介, 原 広, イリカ・ファン・ローン, 山下 秀樹

Usuiseishi Co., Ltd., Silkworm Farmers in Gunma Prefecture, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Shiina Tatami, Tomioka Silk Mill
碓氷製糸株式会社, 群馬県の養蚕農家様, 国立研究開発法人 農業・食品産業技術総合研究機構, 椎名畳店, 富岡市・富岡製糸場

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photo: Hajime Kato










by arcus4moriya | 2018-12-25 11:23 | AIR_2018 | Comments(0)
<< Erica van Loon&... Cihad Caner'... >>


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