Art of Deception

The In4Art Open Collection is enriched with two works from Belgian artist/ designer Isaac Monté. The works are part of the series ‘The Art of Deception’.

With technology advancements in BioTech and 3D printing it is already possible to create artificial organs. Various lab experiments have been conducted and it offers possibilities and solutions to address the need for donor organs but also beyond, to invest in new methods of assuring health in the future. In the nineties, the first images of a mouse with an artificially grown ear – the Vacanti Mouse – shocked the world. Again, in 2018, we were shown a glimpse of the scientific advancements with Ears Grown from Apples.

Isaac Monté took the recent technological breakthrough of decellularization for his project the Art of Deception. Decellularization marks a new era of synthetic biology. Monté took the heart as a symbol and metaphor to start discussions around genetic engineering and tissue technology, while offering an aesthetic and artistic perspective. He decellularized pig hearts. What is left, is in essence the frame, in which stem cells can be injected to grow new artificial organs, until now only done within scientific labs. He injected his aesthetic and artistic perspective. What intrigues is if we start to design these organs, why should they stay the way we are familiar with? Will this enable customization, new functionalities or even shape deviation? In the end, they are all hearts, but all with their own twist.

In his own words:
“we explore how biological interventions and aesthetic manipulation can be used as tools for the ultimate deception: the transformation of inner beauty, from grotesque to perfect. Can the ghost organ be a blank canvas for designers? Can organs be objects of design? Will humans be able to manipulate organs for aesthetic purposes?”

The In4Art Collection now includes No 12: Soft Heart – a flocked heart; giving the heart a warm custom fit black velvet. Additionally, we commissioned Isaac Monté to realize No. 22, which materialized in July 2019.
A new addition to the series, showing the evolvement of Monté’s material research and the potential of this series to keep the relevant discussion on how far science is today in altering and manipulating the human body going.

No. 22 is called Nucleus Heart – a crystalized heart. Crystals, minerals, are believed to have healing potential. At the same time, the crystals grow in an organic, geometric way, which starts with the nucleus: the heart of the matter.

Both works will be on display during the next In4Art Salon on October 6th, 2019.

The Art of Deception is a project from 2015, in which Isaac Monté collaborated with prof. Toby Kiers on researching the implications of artificial organs. They won the BAD award with this project to acknowledge their contribution on extending the boundaries of art and science.

Leave a Reply