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The DNA works arose from a collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery in London and Sir John Sulston, a scientist who received the Nobel Prize for sequencing the human genome. These portraits, including one of Sulston himself, examine the notion of our unique identity visible in our DNA. The DNA was collected from each subject and then placed on framed agar jelly plates. While appearing totally abstract, they are in fact the most 'representational' portraits possible, since the spots or bacteria colonies in the agar jelly contain the biological instructions to remake the sitter. In Family Portrait (Cloned DNA), Quinn makes a connection between the biological and the social and in Self-Conscious, he uses his own DNA in a self-portrait that contains ten million copies of his complete human genome. In DNA Garden, Quinn makes a collective portrait using the DNA of two human beings and that of seventy-five different species of plants, including many used in the installation Garden. In DNA Garden, which takes the form of an altarpiece, the universal system of life is made explicit, reflecting the notion that science has become our new religion.

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