Clones 2005

An exhibition about innovative Biotechnology and Art by the title Clones with Paintings by Jürgen Huber in the Sigismundkapelle, shows a matter of current debate.

Bild Künstler Jürgen Huber
The Artist Jürgen Huber in the center of his clones

art: (by Jürgen Huber, Artist, D.O.B. 1954 in Altenstadt/WN) Contemporary art has much in common with science and research. Not only the necessity of deriving pleasure from innovation and being creativity bonds scientists and artists, but also the fear that the public will not understand what is going on. Of course we know that our fears aren't always good advisors, but often the public’s first reaction is a stunned response and not so seldom that of antipathy. When people don't know what they are going to encounter they generally prefer nothing to happen, both in art and the life sciences.

"KLONE" is an exhibition with 150 portrait sketches, each 18 x 24 cm, each on a small easel standing on the floor. 75 "men" and equally as many "women" will look towards the visitor from below along an aisle from left and right, as once was customary in the catholic church. Each individual, but nevertheless appearing also as a (relative) group through their relative self-resemblance and room-filling capacity. Most people are afraid of human clones, but very few notice how very much we have to fight for our individuality day to day, even without the existence of cloned human beings.

science: (by Dr. Thomas Diefenthal, BioPark Regensburg GmbH, D.O.B. 1960 in Cologne) After the technical revolution of the steam engine in the 19th century further revolutionary events occurred, such as those in the field of chemistry or in the semiconductor electronic industry in the 20th century. Bio- and gene technology is considered to be the key technology of the 21st century, alongside information technology and telecommunication. People called the steam engine the work of the devil initially saying its rapid movement made the blood boil, and likewise chemistry was influenced by people's understanding of the retort (French distillation flask). Semiconductor electronics started of with the construction element - the transistor, and gave us binary code.

With the discovery of the genetic code, the building blocks of life, biotechnology came into existence. Today we are already using over 100 medicines produced by genetic technology. To fight cancer and AIDS or to research new therapies for Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease genetic technology comes into use in companies in BioPark Regensburg. One of the most successful companies in BioPark is Geneart AG, which itself has nothing to do with cloning, but with the name "Gene+art", because of its skills in genetic synthesis e.g. for vaccines for AIDS and as a sponsor of the artist, it does in fact represent this. Geneart was founded in 1999 through the University of Regensburg and is since 2010 part of US Life Technologies Inc.

The "cloning" of bacteria or human cell cultures for the production of medicines or tissue replacement products is routine today and ethically justifiable. The cloning of entire organisms, since the Hollywood film "Jurassic Park" and "Dolly" the cloned sheep, has entered a new phase of discussion. Intensified by "in vitro" fertilization outside of the body with more and more sophisticated fertilization techniques to make pregnancy possible, and by discussions on surrogate mothers in the USA, the necessary discussions have been conducted at times on a more emotional than objective basis. In most countries in the world the cloning of human beings is against the law, also in Germany. Up to now it has not been possible to clone primates, the closest relatives of human beings. Furthermore cloned animals can age prematurely and not seldom have genetic defects.