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Emma Peel in the RNA World
Text by Oona Lochner

dispari & dispari project
Reggio Emilia
22.09. - 22.11.2009

Text in Deutsch

Press (italien)

 

Emma Peel is private detective. And she is roaming through a world where things have gotten a little out of hand. The creatures living here melt into Chimaeras, they dissolve or redouble before they reappear unexpectedly between deserted landscapes. Katrin Plavcak imagines her RNA-world as a model of a universe where form and colour are boosted to be lurid.

Chemical compounds have covered quite a progression from forming celestial bodies and simple life-forms to composing more and more complex organisms. Rather the beginning of this evolutionary route is associated with RNA being the primary information carrier. Only few relicts of this bygone time reach into our world where by now everything is stored in the mode of DNA. Among the few survivors are viruses which still use RNA to store and transmit their genetic information. Just how the evolution of a world takes place can be assumed by evolutionary biologists only thanks to single, hardly coherent images. Many scientific models have been developed to merge them into an overall picture, but in the laboratory they can never be verified. An experiment can never simulate all conditions of the beginning of life and therefore evolution must remain a singular process that is concealed from definite human knowledge.

Likewise, Katrin Plavcak’s RNA-world also evolves out of single images that assemble some of its inhabitants. Besides the beautiful Emma Peel who is strikingly fashionable and always ready to fight back we meet a sponge creature that remains ambiguous between the categories of plant or animal. And, furthermore, there is Palmer Eldritch who has travelled several adjoining galaxies. From one of his expeditions he brought a reality-expanding substance that serves him to create more and more parallel realities and moving between them he himself is repeatedly multiplied and transmuted. Exuberant growth into space or into alternative realities is a topic also of the great potato. This exaggerative vegetable is swung open to be a table which brings to mind mutation and genetic engineering as well as the globally social consequences of a food production that tries to raise efficiency by surplus and selection.

The exaggeration of a world like we might suspect it in our own reality is expressed in the conglomerate of eccentric creatures that live in Katrin Plavcak’s RNA-world and in the boost of its colours and narratives.


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