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Disclosure Case by Revital Cohen - © Science Museum
Location: Who am I?, first floor Wellcome Wing
For the 2010 update of the Who am I? gallery Revital Cohen created Disclosure Case, one of three speculative objects she made as part of her Genetic Heirloom project. The series comprises fictional and yet strangely believable objects which focus on the implications of genetic knowledge. Through them she investigates different ethical or social questions relating to how the increased availability of genetic information encourages us to consider new perceptions of threat, risk and responsibility connected with our health.
Placed in a case about the Human Genome Project, Disclosure Case is an imaginary object which probes new emotional and psychological implications in relation to genetic legacies and knowledge. Cohen uses her work to explore how new knowledge might affect family relationships and personal identity. She asks what we may deem to be the most valuable heirlooms to pass on to our offspring: information about potentially inherited illnesses or material wealth? The resultant works aim to 'make real' the moral dilemmas that emerge out of genetic screening.
'I consider the life sciences to be a powerful catalyst for artistic expression as they present new sets of values, ethics and behaviours... biotechnology and the possibilities it entails motivate me to reassemble my world view.' Revital Cohen
Revital Cohen (born 1981) is a designer who develops critical objects and provocative scenarios exploring the juxtaposition of the natural with the artificial. Her work spans various media and includes collaborations with scientists, animal breeders and the NHS.
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