The Absence of Alice consists of a series of evolving exhibitions initially inspired by Svenja Kratz’s engagement within the area of cell and tissue culture over a five year period working with the Tissue Repair and Regeneration (TRR) Group, within the Cells and Tissues Domain, at the Queensland University of Technology’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) from 2008 – 2011. The title refers to the artist’s early experiences working with the Soas-2 cell line — a cancer cell line originally established from an 11-year old girl called Alice in 1973. All subsequent exhibitions map the creative evolution of this initial engagement into other areas of applied biology, including genetic engineering and primary culture of human and fetal calf cells.
Six evolving, multi-component exhibitions and several smaller ‘deviations’ form the basis of The Absence of Alice. Each exhibition includes several works in a variety of mediums (photomedia, sculpture, video, bioart). These works function as assemblages of interconnected ideas explored during the artist’s engagement with contemporary biotechnologies.
This site includes documentation from each instance of The Absence of Alice from 2008 – 2011, as well as more recent projects that form part of the ongoing series.