One of the oldest examples of human dominance over animals dates back 5,000 years: sericulture, the domestication of silkworms to serve the silk industry and trade. This worm was thus transformed and distorted (hypertrophy of the belly to produce more, preventing it from flying), becoming totally dependent on humans. The Rehabilitation project, by artist Ivana Adaime Makac, seeks to ‘de-domesticate’ the silkworm by reactivating its biological cycle once a year (in the spring). The experiment aims to encourage the worms to go through phases (conditions of access to food, efforts made for survival, stimulating their motricity, etc.) that will allow them to get back to life in the wild. This project kicked off in 2010 at the Salon de Montrouge in France. Regularly exhibited, the long process continues in the studio, at a time when the manipulation of worms is increasing and new, genetically modified species are already producing spider silk.

The Argentinian artist Ivana Adaime Makac questions the limits of life and what can be regenerated under the living conditions of living things; conditions that humans, a priori, should not interfere with. Like a prosthesis, this benevolent project heals a species that has become too docile. It encourages everyone to question the influence they can, could, or could have had on all or part of the ecosystem, more fragile and susceptible than we are led to believe…

Alice Audouin and Lisa Toubas


Crédit : Ivana Adaime Makac, Rééducation. Studio work, spring 2017

Find all the articles Impact Art News n°9 – may-june 2019

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