Heirloom is a project by artist Gina Czarnecki. The Heirloom project involves growing “skin portraits” of Czarnecki’s daughters from their own cells on fragile glass casts. When these cell cultures evolve into translucent tissue, they are preserved, removed, and displayed. The heirloom Experiment subverts the notion of the portrait through the actual use of human material from the subject taking the stage and questioning representation itself.
The possibility of maintaining a youthful face (not only made up of young skin cells, but also retains the armature of a teenage face) when you grow older and the development in personalized medicine was the starting point of this work. With the Medical Museion Copenhagen, this expanded to include the possibility of linking your scientifically accurate portrait to the National DNA Bank and what this could mean for the future of maxillofacial reconstruction, cosmetic modification, and cloning.
The audience are invited to have their faces scanned and this identifiable information archived and presented with a 3d print of their faces. Throughout the exhibition the collection of visitors faces grow – forming a crowd.