The story narrated Heather’s and Chelsea Manning’s ongoing collaboration envisioning a speculative future where Obama would commute Chelsea’s jail sentence. The comic book had an imaginary ending where Chelsea visited an exhibition of her portraits by Heather.
Shockingly enough, the first part of the speculation came true just several hours after the comic was published on-line. That same day President Obama actually commuted Chelsea’s prison sentence, and she was released.
This meant that Chelsea would be able to view the portraits Heather produced from her DNA in person, as the comic had speculated.
The installation work Probably Chelsea, also included in the show, illustrated the multitude ways in which DNA can be interpreted. It is a refutation of the outmoded notions of biologically inscribed identity, and a testament to the commonality that is clearly present even at the cellular level.
On September 5th, a panel was convened at Fridman Gallery with Heather Dewey-Hagborg, and curators and critics Nora Khan and Christiane Paul to discuss the rise of, and implications of genetic analysis and identity.
The panel led to interesting and engaging discussions, which will continue well beyond the show. Heather continues to pursue new work along the themes of genetic analysis and identity.