While Chelsea Manning was in prison for sharing classified material with WikiLeaks, she sent cheek swabs and clippings of hair to artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg, who produced 3-D-printed portraits based on the DNA in those samples. On August 2, 30 those works will go on view at Fridman Gallery in New York in a show called “A Becoming Resemblance,” which is credited to both Dewey-Hagborg and Manning, whom a press release bills as an “interdisciplinary artist and network security expert.”
The show will feature 30 of the portraits of Manning, who said in a statement released to press, “Prisons try very hard to make us inhuman and unreal by denying our image, and thus our existence, to the rest of the world. Imagery has become a kind of proof of existence. The use of DNA in art provides a cutting edge and a very post-modern—almost ‘post-post-modern’—analysis of thought, identity, and expression. It combines chemistry, biology, information, and our ideas of beauty and identity.”
The gallery notes that Dewey-Hagborg and Manning also worked together, in conjunction with Shoili Kanungo, on a graphic story, “Suppressed Images,” that imagined Manning having her 35-year sentence commuted, which actually occurred the day that it was published.
Manning has remained involved in activism since her release from prison last month and made an appearance on the ACLU’s float during Pride festivities in New York City last weekend.