Fallen (11-17) — Experimenta

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Helen Pynor
Fallen (11-17)



Fallen forms part of an extended exploration into the ambiguity of life’s beginnings and endings in the context of chickens raised for human food consumption.

The embryos depicted in this series are contained within the tenuous safety of their amniotic sacs, or fall unfettered through space, entangling in the ruptured and torn remnants of these sacs. Embryos occupy a biologically liminal space, as form emerges from the abstraction of cellular biology. However these embryos also occupy a culturally transitional space as they fall from the maternal space of the egg into spaces of human control and manipulation. The series juxtaposes innocence and our reflexive attachment to the potentiality of the embryo, with these embryos’ thwarted potentiality.

The work was developed at The Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, in the laboratory of regeneration biologist Dr Jochen Rink. Fallen extends the previous long-term engagement Pynor had in Rink’s laboratory during development of installation The End is a Distant Memory (2016).


Courtesy of the artist and Dominik Mersch Gallery, Sydney. Developed with the assistance of Dr Jochen Rink, Group Leader, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and
Genetics, Dresden. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

The Artist
Helen Pynor

Dr Helen Pynor is an Artist and Researcher whose practice explores philosophically and experientially ambiguous zones, such as the life-death boundary.