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Heather Dewey-Hagborg

Hybrid: an Interspecies Opera

November 1 – December 13, 2023

Opening Reception

Wednesday, November 1

6–8 pm

Artist Talk and Walkthrough

Thursday, November 9


Watch Here

Artist Talk and Closing Reception 

Wednesday, December 13


RSVP | Add to Calendar

Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Hybrid : an Interspecies Opera. Shot by Adam Recih. 

Fridman Gallery is honored to present Hybrid: an Interspecies Opera, Heather Dewey-Hagborg's third solo exhibition with the gallery. Comprising a film narrated by the artist, sculptural works, and animations, the exhibition explores the relationship of cutting edge genetic engineering to the very origins of pig domestication 10 millennia ago.

This documentary and personal narrative is set to an original score by composer Bethany Barrett and presents an intimate account of the interspecies relationship at the heart of the science of xenotransplantation–specifically the genetic engineering of pigs to supply human hearts.


The film begins from the question of whether CRISPR gene editing represents a radical rupture or rather a continuation of the millennia old practices of selective breeding. It presents documentary footage from rarely seen porcine research facilities and archaeological archives of early animal domestication at Ludwig Maxilimilians Universität (LMU) Munich and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


The libretto is constructed from the words of key scientists engaged in this new field of research and archaeologists studying the origins of domestication, taken from original interviews conducted by the artist.


The film concludes with the creation of a set of memorial sculptures for the pigs we see on screen whose lives are taken to advance science and potentially save human lives. Drawing on cutting edge digital imaging and printing techniques we see the robotic construction of a clay sculpture which ends in flames–fired in a pit in the ground using the earliest of ceramic methods. The ancient and the high tech meet in an artwork that goes beyond simply educating audiences to making them feel the dramatic weight of these new technologies, their complexities and long histories. The result is an impressionistic glimpse of a biomedical field with massive implications for ethics, aesthetics, and the fluctuating state of human/non-human relations.


Artforum's Must See
Artforum International
October 24, 2023

'My Film is For The Pigs"
Filmmaker Magazine
By Lauren Wissot
November 1, 2023

Artists to Watch This Month: 10 Solo Gallery Exhibitions in New York to Have on Your Radar

By Annikka Olsen
November 9, 2023

Heather Dewey-Hagborg: Hybrid: an Interspecies Opera

The Brooklyn Rail
By Laurel V. McLaughlin
November 10, 2023

Heather Dewey-Hagborg on Yale Radio WYBC

Yale Radio WYBC

Interviewed by Brainard Carey
November 10, 2023

An Artist Explores The History of Humans Genetically Modifying Pigs
Science Friday | NPR Radio
Interviewed by D. Peterschmidt
November 17, 2023

Heather Dewey-Hargborg_201812130003.jpg

Dr. Heather Dewey-Hagborg is a transdisciplinary artist and educator who is interested in art as research and critical practice. Hagborg’s work has been exhibited at numerous museums worldwide and is held in the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Wellcome Collection, and the New-York Historical Society. 

Photo courtesy of the Artist, photographed by Ana Brigada for the New York Times

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