We are told that the progress of science is usually for the better, but is it?
For my most recent installation entitled Sexing Games, I have been exploring the idea of the gender selection process in unborn embryos. This obscure and fact based procedure is becoming more readily available. Sex selection, fertility and the screening of potential children for genetic abnormalities has been a topic of discussion throughout the media and in political arenas of late. Our exposure to these advances has raised many questions in the minds of politicians, spiritual leaders and citizens alike. What if you had the ability to choose the sex of your unborn child before conception? Or its eye color? Its hair color? Sexuality? Penis size? Breast size? Special talents?
Is gender selection a case of technology succeeding morality, or is it simply the next step in our evolution? What are our responsibilities concerning the raising of a perfect child? How much pressure would be placed on this child if we end up disappointed? How many issues can we address through the method of genetic structuring? Sexing Games is a satirical stab at the growing ability to choose the sex of ones child. This installation exaggerates and pokes fun at the serious subject of gender selection. It raises significant queries in the ethics of science, and the viewer is left with these questions : Are we upsetting the natural balance of male and female, that nature has always displayed? In other words are we playing God? What will be the consequences? Will there come a day when we can mail order the perfect child, exactly to our own specification, cryogenically frozen, packaged and delivered to our door step, and waiting to be implanted? Should we allow this genetic manipulation to continue, or are these games going too far?
The concept for this work merges art with social and leisure events that our culture participates in. Sexing Games is a mixed media, carnival themed installation, comprised of my interpretations of three popular sideshow games. Big Choice, Egg Drop and Straight Shooter, all are intended to be interactive and viewers are encouraged to play. In using familiar and fun carnival attractions, the heavy subject of gender selection is presented in a more approachable way. The viewers have a chance to take home not only the questions evoked by the work, but with the right touch, perhaps even a piece of the work itself!www.BethGiacummo.comBeth Giacummo