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and cells; traceability of human tissues and cells as well as products and materials that come into contact with tissues and cells; conditions and procedure for exportation, importation, entry and exit of human tissues and cells,9 in addition to numerous other provisions. Recent research in the field of genetic material processing has shown that extraction of stem cells, which are supposed to be used in the future for the treatment of genetic and other systemic diseases and disorders, is not limited solely to the umbilical cord blood, but can also be obtained from a sufficient quantity of fat tissue.10 The handling of fat tissue is thus a fairly topical subject. The ethical debates in this field are moving into the arena of the ownership of the genetic material, where the bodies of donors (the proletariat) are cut and available for public use, while the chosen bodies (the bourgeoisie) are privatised and preserved in biobanks for private use. The artist poses a utopian question Whose is the body?, and tackles it in a decidedly existentialist manner, only then is he faced with the regulations which, »for one's own good«, prohibit the use of one's own body insofar as that specific use does not accord with the socially and scientifically validated ways of manipulating the body. He could have beautified himself or made use of the stem cells to prolong his life, but the artist chooses his own ethical code, which is, to top it all, totally nonsensical from the medical point of view. He does not submit himself to the generic images of personal appearance, but instead introduces his own values, which express the supremacy of his personal value system that 9 Ibid. 10 An audio recording, the archive of the author of the text. The recording was made on 19.2.2013, at Bio Banka, Trzin, in the context of the symposium “Humalga: Injektiranje”, by Špela Petrič and Robertina Šebjanič. 96

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prevails over the designer beauty in the late capitalist factory of images. It could also seem absurd that the realisation of the later phase of the project will be enabled by a beauty surgery, which does not have any health advantages or therapeutic effects by itself. Maybe it also bears mentioning that the surgeon, an indispensable collaborator in the project, will do something that could potentially endanger his or her professional reputation, although Srdić Janežič by no means seeks to be shocking, as was, for example, in the 1990s the practice of the Serbian body artist Zoran Todorović, who used the human leaf fat to make snacks (gelatine) for the visitors of the gallery. Body art practices always have to do with a contextualised injury that is supported by a reason. However, again I want to emphasize that Srdić Janežič erases the differences between Todorović's gelatine and his sculpture with a good measure of humour, seriousness and doubt. For anyone wondering about the reasons for his procedure, it should be telling enough, or even shocking and sobering enough, to encounter a whole range of social problems, taboos and regulations as soon as we start discussing the alienation of human tissues. The body in the work Corpus indeterminata is abject because it »disturbs social reason - the communal consensus that underpins a social order. The »abject« exists accordingly somewhere between the concept of an object and the concept of the subject, representing taboo elements of the self barely separated off in a liminal space.«11 In this context, Corpus indeterminata is bringing a tripartite change based on the ritual dramaturgy of the becoming of a new identity. The course of the liminoid ritual in the present day world is still 11 Comp. Julia Kristeva: Powers of Horror; An Essay on Abjection, Columbia University Press, 1982

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Corpus indeterminata  

Opus Corpus indeterminata by artist Zoran Srdić Janežič