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BioArt and Bacteria

  • Esther Klein Gallery 3600 Market Street Philadelphia, PA, 19103 United States (map)
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The Esther Klein Gallery and University City Science Center is pleased to present a solo exhibition of artworks by internationally acclaimed BioArtist Anna Dumitriu exploring our relationship to the microbial world. Dumitriu’s art practice fuses craft, technology and bioscience to weave complex but engaging narratives around our relationship to infectious disease and its cultural and personal implications. She works hands-on with the tools and techniques of microbiology and synthetic biology to create intricate artworks that reveal strange histories and emerging futures. Her obsessions with the history and treatment of infectious diseases, medical ethics, antibiotics and antibiotic resistance, natural dyes and ancient remedies, the evolution of drug discovery process and genetics speak urgently to the concerns of wide audiences and make for a visceral and emotionally affecting experience. 

The exhibition will include works from many of her key projects including her Romantic Disease project which explores mankind’s strange relationship with ‘the Romantic Disease’ Tuberculosis (TB) from early superstitions about the disease, through the development of antibiotics, to the latest research into whole genome sequencing of bacteria, and some of her works exploring synthetic biology– particularly inspired through her collaboration with the University of California Irvine. Visitors will be struck by her unexpected uses of materials that combine intricate traditional and sometimes ancient art making techniques with the use of lab generated materials including sterilized disease-causing, or genetically modified bacteria. 


Anna Dumitriu is a British artist whose work fuses craft, technology and bioscience to weave complex narratives around our relationship to infectious disease and its cultural and personal implications. She works hands-on with the tools and techniques of microbiology and synthetic biology to create intricate artworks that reveal strange histories and emerging futures. Her obsessions with the history and treatment of infectious diseases, medical ethics, antibiotics and genetics speak urgently to the concerns of wide audiences and create a visceral and emotionally affecting experience. 

Dumitriu is the 2018 President of the Science and the Arts section of the British Science Association. She holds visiting research fellowships at the University of Hertfordshire, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, and Waag Society. She is artist-in-residence with Modernising Medical Microbiology at the University of Oxford, and with the National Collection of Type Cultures at Public Health England. Her extensive exhibition profile includes The Picasso Museum Barcelona, ZKM, BOZAR Museum of Art, Ars Electronica Festival, The Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, The Museum of the History of Science in Oxford, The Science Gallery Dublin, The Science Gallery Lab Detroit, The Beall Center for Art and Technology in Los Angeles, The Rockefeller and The V & A Museum, the Science Museum, and Eden Project. http://www.annadumitriu.co.uk

Earlier Event: October 14
Talk: Emory Douglas & Colette Gaiter
Later Event: October 18
For Freedoms Town Hall