“Perfection” at Science Gallery Dublin: Patricia Piccinini’s “Graham”, Jameela Jamil’s “I Weigh” and Others

With growing cultural pressures to look and live in an ideal way, is striving for perfection a
positive goal? Or is imperfection what sustains life and creates diversity and difference? Through the lens of artists, musicians, mathematicians, architects, designers, psychologists and surgeons, the exhibition “Perfection” at Science Gallery Dublin explores what it means to pursue perfection in a non-perfect world.

It looks at the pursuit of perfection through Brazilian waxing to cosmetic surgery and gene-hacking to creating the ‘perfect’ artificial intelligence-enhanced companion robot. The project, which originated in Science Gallery Melbourne, includes work from international artists, each exploring the idea of perfection, the subjective nature of how we perceive it and what a perfect future might look like.

A wave of new science and technology allows us to modify, hack and transform our lives in pursuit of our own personal perfection. By holding up a mirror to our own ideals, “Perfection” reflects on ever-changing ideas of scientific precision, body augmentation and perfect imperfection.

Highlight exhibits include:

  • GRAHAM by Australian artist Patricia Piccinini was created as a commission by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) to promote road safety. Unlike humans, GRAHAM is perfectly designed to withstand the impact force of a low speed crash (30km/h). Site: www.meetgraham.com.au.


Graham by Patricia Piccinini // Credit: Science Gallery Dublin at Trinity College Dublin


  • HARMONY is one of the world’s most advanced robotic companions. A robot that you can customise to look exactly how you want it to look. As science fiction becomes reality, will more people develop intimate relationships with robots? And what will be the social consequences of such companionships? Site: www.realdollx.ai.
  • World famous French artist ORLAN’s performance piece OMNIPRÉSENCE is the seventh medical performance in a series of plastic surgery operations in which the artist alters her appearance to reflect the ideals of western art and cultural pressures of beauty. Site: www.orlan.eu.
  • Can we trust algorithms to make judgements about our appearance? Australian artist Lucy McRae’s interactive exhibit BIOMETRIC MIRROR enables visitors to scan their biometric data in order to be re-presented with a ‘perfect’ version of themselves. Site: www.lucymcrae.net/biometric-mirror.
  • GENETICS GYM by UK artist Adam Peacock looks at why we strive to be anything other than who we currently are and asks what would be the outcome if we could use current breakthroughs in genetic technology like CRISPR to augment ourselves aesthetically in pursuit of the ‘perfect’ being? Site: www.adampeacock.co.uk.
  • Activist, Actress and Founder of I Weigh, Jameela Jamil started the @i_weigh Instagram account in March 2018 in a response to the way that women are valued in popular culture. She encouraged people to weigh themselves through their accomplishments and values rather than their physical appearance. I Weigh is about radical inclusivity, so that no one feels alone. SUM OF YOU invites you to shed what does not serve you and wear your collective being with pride. It acknowledges that you are more than your reflection in a mirror, you are made up of your experiences, your relationships, your thoughts and values. Take a moment of reflection and radical self-acceptance. Write all the things that make you you on the mirror and share with #IWeigh to join a growing community shredding beauty ideals and building a path towards self care. What do you weigh?

The Science Gallery Network consists of leading universities united around a singular mission: to ignite
creativity and discovery where science and art collide. Science Gallery International is the non-profit,
charitable organisation catalysing the growth of the network, providing services, tools and resources required
to power and expand this unique global collaboration, which now has seven members across four continents:
the pioneering member Trinity College Dublin (Ireland); King’s College London (The United Kingdom); The
University of Melbourne (Australia); the Indian Institute of Science, Srishti School of Art Design and
Technology, The National Centre for Biological Sciences (India); Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy);
Michigan State University (United States); and Erasmus University Medical Center (The Netherlands).

Learn more about the exhibition here: dublin.sciencegallery.com/perfection. It runs until October 6, 2019.


Harmony by Realbotix // Credit: Science Gallery Dublin at Trinity College Dublin


Omnipresence by Orlan // Credit: Science Gallery Dublin at Trinity College Dublin


Biometric Mirror by Lucy McRae and Niels Wouters // Credit: Science Gallery Dublin at Trinity College Dublin


Genetics Gym by Adam Peacock // Credit: Science Gallery Dublin at Trinity College Dublin


Sum of You by I Weigh // Credit: Science Gallery Dublin at Trinity College Dublin