Nasher Sculpture Center presents Sightings: Anne Le Troter opening day
As part of the Nasher Sculpture Center’s Sightings series of smaller-scale exhibitions and installations that highlight new work of emerging or established artists, the Nasher will present Sightings: Anne Le Troter. For this commission, Le Troter is developing a sound piece based on her research on fertility tourism and the history of sperm banks in the U.S., where the lack of governmental regulation has resulted in the rise of so-called “designer babies," children whose genetic makeup can be preselected based on the characteristics of the donor.
In the artist’s home country of France, donor conception is arranged exclusively by the state via 23 state owned centers for the study and conservation of human eggs and sperm. There, both sperm and egg donations are entirely anonymous and French law prohibits sharing any identifying information about the donor or recipient. The U.S. is one of the few places in the world where recipients can review the profiles of potential sperm and egg donors before making a selection and many banks also provide audio recordings that describe donors’ physical characteristics, personalities, and intelligence.
As part of her research, Le Troter signed up as a customer at a cryobank based in Virginia where she gained access to over 400 donor audio recordings. For the Nasher exhibition, Le Troter will splice together and layer excerpts of the original recordings to create a linguistic score reminiscent of and inspired by such science fiction novels as Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932), George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1985). Titled Anticipation, Le Troter’s sound piece considers the ethics of eugenics as well as the dystopic future of state regulated vs. free market fertility. Sightings: Anne Le Troter is the artist’s first U.S. commission and will be Le Troter’s first work in the English language.
The exhibit will be on display through February 2, 2020.