Pear wood, glass, resin, gold-plated brass, powder-coated steel, and acrylic tubing
12 5/8 x 9 1/8 x 11 3/4" (32 x 23 x 30 cm)
In her Genetic Heirloom series, Revital Cohen addresses how our genetic knowledge has the ability not only to inform our life with crucial awareness and new purpose but also to change how we relate to our family members and how we perceive ourselves as autonomous individuals. The series, funded by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award in 2009 and also including a Guilt Adjustor, speaks to the emotional and psychological effects of the potentially devastating genetic information we now have access to. The Disclosure Case, which makes reference to one of the key ethical issues raised by genetic profiling, allows potential inheritors of a trait to decide for themselves if they want to know their fate; traditional heirlooms of precious metals, an echo of recent treatments for cancer that have relied on gold and silver, are kept alongside audio messages from relatives that disclose inherited genetic traits. This box, inspired by Pandora’s, is left for the next generation to open.