By Steve Taylor, Artfusion
The post-human future is here. What kind of post-humans will we be? Our origins, our self-identity, and the ramifications of genetic discoveries are the theme of Oxfordshire artist Barbara Gorayska’s new work.
It is derived in part from the ever more advanced developments in genetic engineering, gene therapies, cloning and genetically modified foods, in which the line between natural and artificial is continually blurred. These are developments that Gorayska says “ are a chief area of innovation radically changing our world today”.
This is precisely what makes Goraysk’s work both interesting and complex. She presents us with snapshots of a world that might exist. It is neither a ’nightmare vision of a world gone mad’ nor a ’brave new world’. Instead, Gorayska invites us to draw our own conclusions and in doing so affirms the possibility that we might be capable of doing so. However, while we can make our own decisions about whether we are disturbed by the possible outcomes of the paths we are taking, Gorayska insists “that we must still take responsibility for those outcomes should they arise”. I think that this is what saves her work from being simplistic or didactic.
As much as she points to the possible problems that new technologies might bring, and the way that they might disrupt our very notion of what constitutes humanity, Gorayska never judges those ’problems’ or ’disruptions’ as themselves culpable. The artist is more than aware that many of the biotechnological processes she examines have at their heart a desire to create a more homogeneous and controlled world, and she takes pleasure in daring us to embrace possible outcomes which are not so much ’aberrant’ as anti- aberrant.