Patricia Piccinini: A hyper-realistic artist that more than skillfully blurs the lines between reality and fantasy. One can almost envision the world that we might live in if her vision were true.
The Long Awaited, 2008
Empathy is at the heart of my practice. I don’t think that you really can – or indeed should – try to understand the ethics of something without emotions. It can easily be argued that such a focus on empathy might distract from a true rational understanding of the issues, but in fact that is exactly what I am aiming to do. Emotions are messy and they do get in the way of rational discourse – as they should. The empathetic nature of my work deliberately complicates the ideas. It is one thing to argue for/against cloning when it is just an intellectual issue. However, things change if you have a mother or son who might need it. I like to think that my work understands that the point at which ‘good’ becomes ‘bad’ does not stand still, which is why it is so difficult to find. Ethics are not set like morals, they have to be constantly negotiated. Bioethics are especially flexible, which makes them especially difficult. However, sometimes our feelings find a way through these difficulties, and we are able to create connections and bonds that defy the expectations of others.
Her website can be found at http://www.patriciapiccinini.net