Originally published: Heterosis Catalogue
by Drome (2002)

b. 1965, Freetown, Sierra Leone

lives Melbourne, Australia

Patricia Piccinini arrived in Australia in 1972 with her family. She initially studied economic history before enrolling at art school in Melbourne. Since 1991 her work has been exhibited around the world, including the Berlin Biennale 2001 and in Songs of the Earth in Kassell, in 2000.

Piccinini works in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, video, sound, installation and digital prints. She enjoys exploring what she calls ‘the often specious distinctions between the artificial and the natural’. The concepts that underpin modern science, such as genetic engineering and other forms of biotechnology, appear to fascinate her.

The Mutant Genome Project (TMGP) (1994), used computer software to develop LUMP (Lifeform with Unevolved Mutant Properties), a virtual hybrid ‘creature’. The artist has said that ‘LUMP is part human flesh, biotechnology, popular culture and marketing; unlovable to some, but the apple of its mother’s eye’. LUMP is a ‘baby’ born from a perverse coupling of television advertising and basic engineering principles. This shiny, plastic infant again features in the computer generated photographic work, Psychotourism (1996), in which it is sheltered and protected by its human, although digitally enhanced, ‘mother’. Other virtual creatures appear in Social Studies (2000) and Plasticology, the multi-screen installation featured in the 1999 Melbourne International Biennial (1999) and Sydney’s 1997 Perspecta. Piccinini’s vaguely embryonic invented forms are simultaneously attractive and repellent.

An ambivalent and perhaps weird coupling can be seen again in Car Nuggets: They’re good for you (1998) and Truck Babies (1999). The latter are cute, compressed and streamlined road machines in shiny pastel pink and baby blue fibreglass. From a similar spawning comes Car Nuggets. For Piccinini these forms are something of a nostalgic return. They refer not only to the vagaries of industrial mass production processes but also to the heady days of adolescence where the car and car parts symbolised a potent lexicon of desires. In the 2001 GL versions she has decorated these strange fragments with flame and skull details.

Piccinini enjoys the fictions and mutability of the ideas of perfection. The contrasts and relationships that exist between the natural, organic and constructed worlds suggest to her the potential of the marriage of human physiology and technological development.




Interview with The Condition Report by Patricia Piccinini and The Condition report

Just Because Something Is Bad, Doesn't Mean It Isn't Good by Basak Doga Temur

Patricia Piccinini interviewed by Jane Messenger by Jane Messenger

Speculative Fabulations for Technoculture's Generations by Donna Haraway

The Naturally Artificial World by Laura Fernandez Orgaz and Patricia Piccinini

Border Patrol by Stella Brennan

We Are Family: Patricia Piccinini at the 50th Biennale of Venice by Linda Michael

Patricia Piccinini's Offspring by Peter Hennessey

Fast forward: accelerated evolution by Rachel Kent

One Night Love by Nikos Papastergiadis

Autoerotic by Amanda Rowell

One Night Love by Linda Michael

Atmosphere by Juliana Engberg

Biopshere by Edward Colless

Patricia Piccinini: Ethical Aesthetics by Jacqueline Millner

Patricia Piccinini - Early Installations by Peter Hennessey

The NESS Project and the Birth of Truck Babies by Hiroo Yamagata

Some thoughts about Embryo by Patricia Piccinini

The Rookie by Patricia Piccinini

The Shadows Calling by Patricia Piccinini

Meditations on the continuum of vitality by Patricia Piccinini

Six observations about The Skywhale by Patricia Piccinini

Those Who Dream by Night by Patricia Piccinini

The Fitzroy Series by Patricia Piccinini

Eulogy by Patricia Piccinini

The Lovers by Patricia Piccinini

The Welcome Guest by Patricia Piccinini

The Observer by Patricia Piccinini

Aloft by Patricia Piccinini

Balasana by Patricia Piccinini

The Gathering by Patricia Piccinini

Perhaps the World is Fine Tonight by Patricia Piccinini

Bottom Feeder by Patricia Piccinini

Not Quite Animal by Patricia Piccinini

The Long Awaited by Patricia Piccinini

The Foundling by Patricia Piccinini

In Another Life by Patricia Piccinini

Big Mother by Patricia Piccinini

Bodyguard by Patricia Piccinini

Sandman by Patricia Piccinini

The Leather Landscape by Patricia Piccinini

The Young Family by Patricia Piccinini

Still Life With Stem Cells by Patricia Piccinini

Swell by Patricia Piccinini

The Breathing Room by Patricia Piccinini

Truck Babies by Patricia Piccinini