Laura Splan: Conformations

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Laura Splan: Conformations

October 17, 2019 - November 23, 2019

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Opening Reception:
Thursday, October 17, 5-7:30 p.m.
3600 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA

Artist Talk /Closing Reception:
Tuesday, November 19, 5-7:30 p.m.
Quorum, 3675 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA

The interdisciplinary exhibition combines biomedical imagery and artifacts with objects made from the hand-spun fiber of laboratory llamas and alpacas. These immunized animals are used to produce antibodies for human drugs. Splan’s fiber sculptures are juxtaposed with photographs and time-based artworks that mine the materiality of biotechnology to reveal poetic subjectivities.

The installation will include a doorway veiled in llama fiber, representing a membrane that visitors have to permeate in order to enter the back gallery; a nod to the mechanics of cellular biology. Some artworks include prompts to viewers to “remove shoes” or “sit around and wait”, all while being exposed to different sensory stimuli. The exhibition references the molecular biology phenomenon of conformational change (when environmental factors induce a change in the shape of a macromolecule such as a protein) using human interactions with elements in the gallery.

The exhibition will also feature sound and video recordings from the artist’s time at Integral Molecular as well as photographs from Splan’s artist book “Needle in a Haystack,” which will be on view. Additional kinetic artworks bring the metanarratives of molecular biology into the gallery including a Twitter activated laboratory mixer.


Laura Splan lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Arts & Design and Beall Center for Art + Technology. International audiences for her work have included Iceland, South Korea, England, Germany, Sweden, Austria, and Canada. Her work is included in the collections of the Thoma Art Foundation, the NYU Langone Art Collection, and the Science Center. Her biomedical themed artworks have been commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control Foundation, the Gen Art New Media Art Exhibition and Davidson College.

She has received research funding from The Jerome Foundation and her residencies have been supported by the Knight Foundation, the Institute for Electronic Arts, Harvestworks, and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. She has been a visiting lecturer at Stanford University teaching interdisciplinary courses including “Embodied Interfaces”, “Data as Material” and “Art & Biology”. She is currently a Creative Experiments track member at NEW INC, the New Museum’s cultural incubator in New York, NY.


October 17, 2019
November 23, 2019
Event Category:


Esther Klein Gallery
3600 Market St
Philadelphia, United States
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