Kristin Landowski
Artist Website Link


BRCA 1+: Conception
ceramic, stain
14" x 25" x 10"


Genetic codes are inherent to the existence of all creatures, yet breast cancer is primarily a women’s disease. The diagnosis of cancer indicates that a code has failed. The abstracted, bloated, droopy anomalies bulge with similar eruptions of the hardened material. The surface is blackened and dirty, with pigment settling into the gashes and creases. All these distortions work to generate a feeling of dis-ease.

The scientific appellation of the BRCA 1+ gene is c.1504_1508delTTAAA the semiotic invention used in scientific inquiry that is known to cause breast cancer. The naming of this gene in the form of a code allows science to distinguish the site of genetic failure in the body. In my work, I explore the specific locations at which cancerous cells stimulated by failure of the BRCA 1+ gene will attach to the body, namely the breasts, lymph nodes, and reproductive organs; the ovaries are particularly subject to invasion. This allows the invisible BRCA 1+ gene to become visible through the abstract representation of growth and protrusion. Giving visible, sculptural form to those disturbances, intrusions and failures is of paramount concern in my work.

My curiosity of the clinical diagnosis of a disease along with the semiotic naming of a gene and its connection with the biological living body; fueled the search for answers of abstraction within the body. Through attempting to depict the disease on the outside of the body, I was confronted with questions of the societal constructed norm of beautiful and a realization of the grotesque and the implications it has on the female body.