curated by Frederike Sperling
das weisse haus, Vienna
30.03.2022 – 21.05.2022
Welcome to the Genital(*) Panic clinic – an itinerant gynecological station for unruly bodies by Mary Maggic. It conducts ongoing research into the effects of environmental toxicity on sex and gender in a series of public interventions and workshops. You are warmly invited to enter the facility and/or attend any of the events. For all updates on the events, please visit our website.
“Genital(*) Panic” responds to the observation that the pollution of the environment through plasticizers has endocrine disrupting effects on bodies: Chemicals ingested by our bodies can result in “reproductive toxicity”, i.e. the queering of the binary body on a molecular level. Scientists measure this effect with the anogenital distance (AGD; distance between anus and genitals, considered longer in male read bodies). They have found that the AGD has been steadily decreasing over time. Is it possible, then, that we are all approaching intersex, other-sex beings? And how have our bodies always been queer?
An archive of disobedient bodies, the Genital(*) Panic clinic sheds light on the queering realities of the polluted planet and urges for a new understanding of bodies beyond normative taxonomies.
Text: Frederike Sperling
Mary Maggic (b. Los Angeles, 1991) is a non-binary Chinese-American artist currently based in Vienna, Austria. Their work spans amateur science, public workshopology, performance, installation, documentary film, and speculative fiction. Since 2015, Maggic’s research has centered on hormone biopolitics and environmental toxicity, and how the ethos and methodologies of biohacking can serve to demystify invisible lines of molecular (bio)power. Since completing a Masters from MIT Media Lab, their work has exhibited internationally including Kunsthal Charlottenborg (DK), Centre de Cultura Contemporánia de Barcelona (ES), Philadelphia Museum of Art (US), Science Gallery London (UK), Migros Museum of Contemporary Art (CH), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (DE), Jeu de Paume (FR), Museum of Contemporary Art Tuscon (US), Haus der elektronischen Kunst (CH), Institute of Contemporary Arts London (UK), Art Laboratory Berlin (DE), Akbank Sanat (TR), and Jogja National Museum (ID). In 2017, their project “Open Source Estrogen” was awarded Honorary Mention at Prix Ars Electronica Hybrid Arts. Maggic is a current member of the online network Hackteria: Open Source Biological Art, the laboratory theater collective Aliens in Green, the Asian artist collective Mai Ling Vienna, as well as a contributor to the radical syllabus project Pirate Care and to the online Cyberfeminism Index.
Genital(*) Panic, Mary Maggic, 2022, das weisse haus, Vienna (AT).
Photo: Lea Sonderegger.
Courtesy of the artist.