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Artwork Details:

  • TypeSculpture
  • Year2007
  • MediumPatinated bronze
  • Dimensions44h x 156w x 74d cm
More about this artwork:

“To me The Selfish Gene is about the way we are slaves to unseen impulses we act out, even unto death. We are salient beings with free will, but from another point of view we are simply the robotic servants of our genes whose will to reproduce themselves is like the will of the plant to grow or the newborn baby to suckle: a completely overwhelming, unconscious thing.”

- Marc Quinn in conversation with Jason Shulman

The Selfish Gene is a sculptural memento mori, a reflection on the nature of desire that erases its humanity and redefines it as a function of evolution. Vertebrae, shoulder blades, pelvic bones, are stripped of any of flesh; the grey-cream tone of the bones suggests that these bodies have been locked in this position for centuries and entices the viewer to touch the emaciated and angular forms. The shock of discovering that the skeletons are in fact painted bronze is profound.”

- Lynda Nead, The Matter of Art

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