What do a theater and a microscope have in common? And what’s the difference between a squashed raspberry and a cancer cell? In Eva Meyer-Keller’s performance Living Matters, these kinds of juxtapositions and analogies are no harmless thought experiment. In fact, they usher us directly into a critically staged conflict surrounding the power structures of anthropocentric configurations of the gaze and these configurations’ claims on objectivity. In the performance, where grapes mutate into fluorescent deep-sea monsters under the eye of the microscope and where tampons perform cell division, scientific processes supposedly operating in purely descriptive modes are interrogated rigorously as to their normative structures and presuppositions – but in such a way that consistently takes into account the theatrical peepshow dispositif in which the work unfolds.
The performance is the second part of a series in which the artist deals with methods of the natural sciences. While the work Some Significance from 2017 engaged with physical techniques and models for the illustration of invisible units and processes, Living Matters centers on the observational apparatuses of microbiology and molecular biology – and also of theater.
The Performance is presented as a part of and in collaboration with The Nordic Forum for Dance Research, NOFOD