Forbidden Fruits by James Moore after the real apple in Blighted by Kenning

Forbidden Fruit painting by James F. Moore after the Charlotte Jervis installation Blighted by Kenning

A couple of years ago I was at the excellent Science Gallery in Dublin and came across a work related to GM foods (an apple apparently floating in space) by the artist Charlotte Jervis. “Blighted by Kenning centres on bioengineered bacteria that has The Universal Declaration of Human Rights encoded into its DNA. The DNA was extracted from the bacteria and used to ‘contaminate’ apples grown at The Hague, the seat of the International Courts of Justice. These ‘forbidden fruits’ were then sent to genomics laboratories around the world. Participating scientists were asked to sequence the DNA, find the message hidden within and send back a translation. They were also invited to eat the fruit.”

As a literal and metaphorical comment on GM technology and the ambivalent idea of ‘forbidden fruits’ it is brilliant.