“This Mess We’re In” is an art exhibition that entangles queer feminist ecologies with Frankenstein, Mary Shelley’s seminal exploration of life creation and re-formation.
The exhibition presents 26 experimental artworks by first nations, national and international artists and forms a unique ecology of queer feminist perspectives on Shelley’s legacy. The artworks emerge from art/science practices that explore the relationships between life and technology, emerging, resisting, reforming and responding to the political, ethical and material implications of manipulating life. The exhibition expresses untold legacies of Frankenstein, creatures that emerge from and escape the creation and control of life. It draws on the themes of fragmentation, emergence, reproduction and ethics that are the cornerstone of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Given that Frankenstein was written by the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, its 200th anniversary is particularly relevant to draw together feminist explorations of the legacy of Frankenstein.
The artworks explore the diversity and complexity of life, escaping individualism and undermining utilitarianism. They reveal the messiness of life and technology, our mess-mates and the messes we are in because of our manipulations.