Referencing Frankenstein, Lambstein, is a one hour performance of a human in a lamb suit lying motionless on a silver table. Lambstein provokes questions of cloning and mutatious transformations to question the boundaries of the monstrous and the ‘natural’. The body of the lamb on the examination table references both the film Frankenstein and the first cloned lamb, Dolly, while its stillness and horizontal pose occupies an ambiguous space between life and death. This gesture seeks to evoke questions surrounding the social status of genetically manipulated organisms and discussions surrounding the issue of their being ‘real’ or ‘natural’, or not, and the subsequent treatment that is dependent on this determination. The complex system of relations between all entities is continually transforming, a change made particularly apparent with the advances in scientific technology and experimental research initiatives on animals, and the acceptance of differences, rather than exclusion premised in difference, needs to be fore fronted. Lambstein gestures towards a recognition of interconnectivity – apparent metaphorically between the body inside the costume and the exterior of the suit, as well as in the relations between science and the stimulation of life in previously inanimate bodies, such as in both Frankenstein and Dolly. The more complex relations between the monstrous creation in the novel Frankenstein and the ill reception of this ‘different’ body in the broader community are also narratives informing Lambstein. The performance is video documented for gallery installation, and after the completion of the performance, the lamb-suit-head and a small monitor playing the performance documentation are presented on a silver table for the duration of the exhibition.
Exhibitions & Performances:
2010 Two Propositions. Stride Gallery, Project Room, Calgary, AB (solo)
2010 Lambstein. Mountain Standard Time Performative Art Festival, Calgary, AB, Performed in conjunction with Two Propositions, Stride Gallery, Calgary, AB (group)
2009 Lambstein. Performed in conjunction with Nachgeschmack (Aftertaste), McIntosh Gallery, London, ON (group)
Nicole Rayburn 2015