The Hydra myth tells us a story of a many-headed serpent that has the ability to regenerate lost heads. As soon as one of its heads is cleaved off, Hydra re-grows the lost body part. Hydra is also the name of a freshwater animal with extraordinary regenerative abilities. The genus stem cells appear to have a capacity for indefinite self-renewal. Hydra stands for organisms that do not age or die of old age. Current researchers from the trans-humanism movement circulate the idea of wanting to cure ageing. According to those thinkers, ageing falls into the category of a disease that needs to be rectified. The actual causes of ageing still remain unknown. A Biologically Immortal Living Being Can Still Die looks at this subject matter by confronting the varying philosophical and scientific meanings of ageing with the ubiquitous desire of society not to senescence. Ageing becomes the phenomena that has not been resolved yet or made controllable by mankind. It gives us a biological timetable we have to stick to and will most likely die of.
Performed by Henry Babbage.
Image credit: Arron Leppard
Lina Hermsdorf lives and works in London and Frankfurt am Main. Her practice is concerned with the intrinsic question of what one can define as living. In her work, Hermsdorf creates situations that encompass and play with the ways we perceive, communicate and process information as cognitive beings. She studied theatre at the University in Giessen and fine arts at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. Her performative works and installations have been shown at Minibar, Stockholm (2015), Yvonne Lambert, Berlin (2015), Kunsthalle Baden-Baden (2015), Rowing Projects, London (2015), and Taylor Macklin, Zurich (2015), among other venues.