Is it possible to make viable semen from 'female' cells? Former BAD Award winner Charlotte Jarvis is on a mission to find out. In her ongoing project In Posse - a Latin term with a literal meaning of ‘before we are born’ - she works towards creating viable semen genetically modified from her own 'female' cells. In Posse seeks to use science and art to undermine traditional notions of patriarchal power and to examine the meaning of gender, now and in the future. Together with the British FutureFest, Charlotte made a film version of In Posse. The film can be viewed on futurefest.org and on the platforms of the partners of the project, including MU.
In her practice, Charlotte often utilizes living cells and DNA. For her project Et in Arcadia Ego, developed with molecular biologist Hans Clevers and commissioned by MU, she has grown a tumor outside of her own body to confront herself with cancer. This project is currently on show at the brand new HE Art Museum in Shunde, China.
Charlotte about In Posse:
'It is the first piece of information we ask about a baby – Is it a boy or a girl? Historically, the upmost importance has been placed on this perceived dichotomy. It is the basis of traditional notions of family, politics, culture and medicine, underpinning the patriarchal and normative societies that have for the most part dominated human history.
Yet in the 21st century, advances in science and technology necessitate a reimagining of our physical boundaries. Our bodies have become sites for transformation, hybridization and magic. We are co-created and reimagined. Stem cell technology, personalized medicine, transplantation and augmentation ask what is a human body? Can we define it? Should we try?'