Dead Cells

Ana Minerva


Dead Cells as Relics; How to Store the Human Gaze

Células muertas como reliquias; Cómo guardar la mirada

Graphite, pen, ink, watercolor, human saliva on Japanese paper and marker on acetate inside a test tube.

Japanese paper and acetate: 18.5x23 cm each. Test tube: 20cm tall, 2.3cm diameter.


The purpose of this artwork is to make present someone absent through the development of a theoretical and practical survey according to neuroscientific and anthropological investigations.

It is composed by two layers; one is a portrait and the other is a map. The portrait is a drawing of the face of a person I know that was made from a photograph I took him while we look in the eye of each other.

In order to store the “gaze” of the person in some biological way, I painted his eyes on the portrait with his saliva mixed with watercolor so the paper could keep his DNA.

The other layer consist on a map drawn in acetate about the relationship I have with this person written in conceptual terms in a rhizome structure, in order to avoid hierarchy of the concepts.

Both layers are stored in a test tube to promote the idea of the artwork like a biological substance.