Yinka Shonibare’s life-size sculpture of an astronaut is to go on display in a new gallery exploring what it means to be human.
Refugee Astronaut wears a suit made from fabric inspired by traditional Nigerian patterns and reflects on themes of “climate change, identity, colonialism and globalisation”.
Wellcome Collection, in London, is opening a new permanent gallery in the autumn, exploring issues of “genetics, climate breakdown, infection and minds and bodies”.
Turner Prize-winning arts and architecture collective Assemble will design the gallery.
Work on display will include Stranger Visions, for which Heather Dewey-Hagborg collected hair, chewed-up gum and cigarette butts from the streets, public toilets and waiting rooms of New York.
She extracted and analysed DNA from the samples to computationally generate 3D printed life-size, full-colour portraits.
Also on display will be the Zimbabwe Friendship Bench, which has been installed outside clinics for people to have discussions with health workers.
Food historian and artist Tasha Marks will develop an odour-based sculpture to explore smells, such as that of breast milk, associated with being human.
Artist group Superflex will present their short film, Flooded McDonald’s, in which a life-size replica of the fast food restaurant is gradually flooded with water.
Being Human will open at the Wellcome Collection, London, on September 5.