Billy Apple® | THE IMMORTALISATION OF BILLY APPLE | Art Basel Hong Kong 2013
23.05 - 26.05
Starkwhite is delighted to announce that the gallery will participate in the first edition of Art Basel Hong Kong 2013, which runs from 23-26 May 2013. Starkwhite has a long association with the Hong Kong’s international art fair having participated in five editions of ART HK.
Starkwhite will present THE IMMORTALISATION OF BILLY APPLE, a collaborative project by artist Billy Apple and artist/scientist Craig Hilton, which explores immortality in relation to Apple’s status as an art brand and is grounded in his ongoing transaction series where the artist receives services in exchange for art.
THE IMMORTALISATION OF BILLY APPLE is a ground-breaking project where art is in the service of science – Apple’s immortalised cell line is being used in studies that will directly benefit cancer and immunology research – and science serves the artist to enhance and protect the artist’s brand by immortalising his biological tissue in perpetuity. This transaction ensures that the brand (and the artist) can last forever, unconstrained by death.
The project-related transactions will be taken a step further at Art Basel Hong Kong with the opportunity for a collector to be included in the immortalisation project. The transaction – a collector’s immortalised cell line in exchange for a financial contribution to ongoing cancer and immunology research – will be foreshadowed in a transaction work displayed in the Starkwhite booth. The transaction will link the collector biologically to the artist’s project as well as the dialogue around the ethics and governance of Biobanks that store human tissue. Ultimately the collector will become a participant in an art/science project with the potential to move from theoretical to actual immortalisation, where it becomes the stuff of dreams.
Starkwhite’s presentation at Art Basel Hong Kong is with the generous support of Creative New Zealand.
Billy Apple was created in 1962 as a work when Barrie Bates changed his name shortly after graduating from London’s Royal College of Art. His six-decade art career began in London amidst the pioneers of pop art but he moved to New York in 1964 where he exhibited in the legendary American Supermarket exhibition (which included Jasper Johns, Claus Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselman) and then rapidly established himself as a key figure in the development of conceptual art. He exhibited in New York’s museum, dealer gallery and alternative art scenes (including shows at the Leo Castelli Gallery, Howard Wise Gallery and Bianchini Gallery) and established Apple, a not-for-profit space (1969 -1973). His subsequent text-based, works drew attention to art system relations between artist, dealer, and collector. He became a registered trademark in 2007, formalizing his art-brand status, which he has continued to explore through transaction-based works. He has had survey exhibitions at: The Mayor Gallery, London in 2010 (British and American Works 1960-69); Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam in 2009 (A History of the Brand and Revealed /Concealed curated by Nicholaus Schafhausen; and the Serpentine Gallery, London in 1974 (From Barrie Bates to Billy Apple 1961-1974). The artist lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand.
Craig Hilton is a New Zealand scientist, artist and educator. After completion of a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Otago, New Zealand, he took a position at Harvard Medical School and later at the University of Massachusetts as an oncologist and immunologist. He returned to New Zealand in 2003 and completed an MFA at the University of Auckland, Elam School of Fine Arts. He is interested in: the interaction of science and art, particularly art/science collaborations i.e. those with genuine art and science value/outputs; how art might be able to contribute to dialogue regarding science, molecular biology, biological discovery, biotechnology etc; and the cultural implications of the these revolutionising technologies.