Drop in to visit Crystal Campbell's studio as she works on HeLa Studies (Forever Again), a poetic continuation of Campbell's research on Henrietta Lacks' immortal cell line. Lacks was an African-American woman whose cancerous cells were taken without her consent in 1951. In the course of 60 years, "immortal" cancer cells from Henrietta Lacks have become microscopic witnesses of our time and used to develop treatments for cancer, polio and other diseases while being shared internationally for advanced scientific research and later, sent to space.
For the last couple of years, Campbell has been working closely with scientists at the University of Leiden. Together, they have grown HeLa cells on diamonds as a symbolic resting place for Henrietta Lacks' immortal cells, questioning the value of forever.
At Marfa Contemporary, Campbell is researching, writing, developing and producing the final phase of the project – a short experimental film merging archived truths, scientific speculation and poetic fictions called Awaiting a Rendezvous with a Comet. Campbell's Marfa Contemporary Open Studio will feature a short clip from the film, mixed-media drawings, ceramics and sculptures to question the value of forever, again.
Organized by Dr Natalie Maria Roncone