Open Wetlab

Opening PostNatural Organisms of the European Union

24-8-12 16:00
Waag, Nieuwmarkt 4, Amsterdam

The Center for PostNatural History and Waag present the unique exhibition: PostNatural Organisms of the European Union. Eleven organisms that were deliberately adapted by humans in a contemporary 'Wunderkammer' bring the tradition of the anatomist Frederik Ruysch back in the Waag. About how man manipulates nature - from the controversial modified H5N1 Avian Flu Virus, to the glowing red Oxitec 'Anti-malarial' Mosquito and the Great Dane - don't miss this!

This exhibit at the Theatrum Anatomicum of the Waag features 11 examples of preserved species that were intentionally altered by humans using the processes of domestication, selective breeding and genetic manipulation. The shown specimens come from researchers, commercial laboratories, horticulturalists and hobbyist breeders. They were altered from their wild ancestors to address a range of human desires and fears, from beauty to mortality, and scientific curiosity to commercial profit.

What is there to see?
Unlike preparations in a museum of natural history, this exhibition tells more about our culture than about biology. Different animal species can be seen, such as the Xenopus Frog that can serve as a DIY pregnancy test, specially-bred alcohol addicted rats, the HOX modified Mouse with genes that block the rib formation and the Oxitec 'Anti-malarial' Mosquito that carry a gene that causes new offspring to self-destruct. There is also genetically modified wheat which gives off an odour that repels aphids and the much-discussed modified H5N1 Avian Flu Virus. Research on this virus has just been published. Prof. Ron Fouchier from the Erasmus MC investigated how this deadly virus could develop into a pandemic by using ferrets. Commotion surrounding this research arose because US anti-terrorist teams advised to keep the results a secret.

This exhibition opens on August 24th at 17.00 hrs with a discussion about the role of man in the biology of the future, featuring: 

  • Rich Pell (director Center for Postnatural History), 
  • Koert van Mensvoort (director Next Nature Network),
  • Tijs Goldschmidt (evolutionary biologist and writer).

Moderator: Lucas Evers (Waag).

This exhibition is part of the Studiolab – Utopian Practices project, an initiative of Waag and Leiden University in collaboration with the Designers & Artists for Genomics Award. Supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, Innovatie Cultuuruitingen.

Open August 24th until September 17th, 2012 on these days and times:

  • Thursday & Friday  14.00 - 20.00 hrs
  • Saturday & Sunday 12.00 – 18.00 hrs
  • Extra opening hours on Monday February 17th 14.00 - 20.00 hrs.

If you want to join the vernissage on Augusth 24th, please register through the registration form below.

Waag, Nieuwmarkt 4, 1012 CR Amsterdam