Victimless Leather, by Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr


Artist: Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr

Title: Victimless Leather

Year created: 2004-2010

Location: Australia

Materials: Mouse stem cells, biodegradable polymer matrix, incubator

What is the piece’s impact? It presents a technological means to wear leather without the need to kill other animals, thus poses questions about the legitimacy of the massive and unsustainable industrial complex that supports the consumption of the skins of other animals. “Our intention is not to provide yet another consumer product but rather to raise questions about our exploitation of other living beings.” (source)

How does this project relate to this change as art? “This artistic grown garment will confront people with the moral implications of wearing parts of dead animals for protective and aesthetic reasons and will further confront notions of relationships with living systems manipulated or otherwise. An actualized possibility of wearing ‘leather’ without killing an animal is offered as a starting point for cultural discussion.” (source)

What makes this an artistic project? It has been lead by artists and it’s main mission is to provoke discussion about technology, the exploitation of “the Other,” and the cost of consumption. The project was funded by ArtsWA and was exhibited at the MoMA in 2008.

Notes: This is part of the Tissue Culture and Art Project.

Other works by the same artists:

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