T.H.: Here we are at one of your strongest claims, as you said, and I quote: «Myth becomes reality». Can you please explain this paradigm change from a mythological form of representation to a biological presentation, to a pure biological existence of life itself?

E.K.: From the Chimera of Arezzo to Arcimboldo to any contemporary work, or even modern— the inverted mermaid that you find in Magritte, where the head is a fish and the body is a woman—you are in the realm of representation. Representation is to re-present, to present again. To render visible something that you already know. You and I are not representing each other right now because we are present; we present ourselves to each other. When the artwork is biologically alive, it is the same phenomenon.

The fact that a living biological artwork carries extrabiological information, such as my Genesis bacteria, for example, does not invalidate the fact that the bacteria have a life of their own to live. The fact that «GFP Bunny,» because it combines rabbit and medusa, can be thought of as a living chimera—as opposed to the sculpture of Arezzo, which is representational—does not undermine the fact that the bunny had a life of its own, a cognitive and emotional world of its own to explore.

T.H.: To me that sounds a little bit like iconological reductionism. Not all renaissance paintings, which in your words re-present a myth, have their meaning only by means of their representational solution. When Titian painted or represented a myth from Ovid’s metamorphosis, there is still much more to say about the meanings of that painting which are not re-presentational in a narrow sense.

E.K.: «Much more to say» has to do with exegesis, not with the logic of representation. These are two different things: one is the logic of representation, to present again what we already know, to which your Titian example conforms strictly; the other is the multiple functions that this representation can have in a given society, in a given period. For example, the logic of representation can serve or attack the status quo. We may have more, or different things, to say about a Titian painting today than in the past. The function of any given representation changes in time because the world changes. Exegesis is part of the reception process but it is also production, creation of meanings. So, I am not saying that you cannot make something with objects, you certainly can. I’m not invalidating the creation of art objects. That would make no sense. What I am saying is that before the creation of art subjects, all you had where art objects or art events like a performance, but now you have something different, something new that has no tradition—a new category of art has been created. The moment that art subjects exist the world is a different place.

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