The quest to make the world’s first female semen has been developed in three parts. First, Charlotte is on a journey with Prof. Lopes in Leiden to grow spermatozoa (sperm cells) from her own body. At the same time, she has developed a “female” form of seminal plasma (the “jizz”) from the blood of multiple women, trans and non-binary people. The final part of the project is to resurrect, reimagine and reenact the ancient Greek fertility festival of Thesmophoria with new communal rites and rituals devised by participating womxn.
At the same time as Jarvis was developing these strands of In Posse, she got pregnant, went through labor and became a mother. This, the Mexican premiere of the piece, is Jarvis’s attempt to reconcile these experiences with the process of making the project. It is also a manifesto of sorts and a review of where the project stands creatively, scientifically, ethically and personally.
This piece is presented in 10 videos: an introduction and nine episodes.
By Alejandra Labastida
Charlotte Jarvis has a productive relationship with science, with which she has allied herself to materially develop her inquisitions into the limits of the body. [...]
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“We are mutable and, because of that, there is hope”
A conversation between Charlotte Jarvis and Alejandra Labastida
Alejandra Labastida (AL): While looking at your manifesto-video, I wished for a conversation between you and Ursula K. Le Guin. You use her short story “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” to address the ethical perspective of your project, but it reminded me of The Left Hand of Darkness as well. [...]
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(Harrogate, 1984; lives and works in London)
Charlotte Jarvis works at the intersection of art and science. Her practice often uses living cells and DNA: she has grown her own tumor, recorded music onto DNA strands and seen her heart beating outside of her body. She has had 10 international solo shows and over 150 group exhibitions. She has won the Bioart and Design Award in the Netherlands, the H20 British Council commission in Argentina and the Alternate Realities Commission in the UK. Charlotte has published peer-reviewed articles in the Leonardo Journal in the USA. She is currently a lecturer at the Royal College of Art in London.
Charlotte Jarvis, In Posse: Female “Semen” and Other Acts of Resistance (2019 to the date)
See the complete video here
Scientific Collaborator: Susana M. Chuva de Sousa Lopes (LUMC)
Music: David Craigie
Film: Silverfish Films, James Read, Miha Godec, Hanneke Wetzer, Eleni Papazoglou, Charlotte Jarvis
Additional Footage: Tanja Küchle (Das Echo der Zukunft)
Additional Support: MU Hybrid Art House, Kapelica Gallery / Kersnikova Institute, NESTA
Text and interview: Alejandra Labastida, Charlotte Jarvis
Curator: Alejandra Labastida
Curatorial coordination: Ana Sampietro, Jaime González
Chief curator: Cuauhtémoc Medina
Communication: Ekaterina Álvarez
Media outreach: Ana Cristina Sol
Content editing: Vanessa López, Javier Villaseñor
Spanish translation: Jaime Soler Frost
English copywriting and translation: Julianna Neuhouser
Graphic design: Andrea Bernal
Press management: Francisco Domínguez, Eduardo Lomas