Starfish and Citrus Thorn

With the piercing of a citrus thorn into a starfish larvae in 1882, zoologist Elie Metchnikoff simultaneously pushed the legal concept of immunity into biology, introducing a violent new metaphor for imagining how living organisms co-exist in this world. In this series of paintings, the tissue dye applied by Metchnikoff to the transparent starfish, is dropped on the word immunity as it first appears in Roman law.

In an accompanying artist talk with the same title, Goldin+Senneby revisit the introduction of this violent metaphor from the perspective of living with an autoimmune condition.

Further reading