The Juxtaposition of Mermaids

The Genetically Modified Little Mermaid, sits among the shores of her famous and more beautiful “sister” the Copenhagen Little Mermaid, wistfully wishing for more visitors to listen to her Sirens song. Unlike the world-famous Little Mermaid, she virtually has NO visitors and is an unknown landmark which is a shame because she sings a strong message. I’ve realized through my travels that people usually won’t stop and take photos until a subject/monument becomes mainstream until it becomes a physical landmark. The Genetically Modified Little Mermaid has been placed in plain view yet has received barely any views because people haven’t been told to look at her, however, one day I know she will become a landmark. Art Professor Bjørn Nørgaard installed her near the famous Little Mermaid as an abstract view of humankind and the advancement of genetic technologies Bjørn stated: “The form of genetic alteration we are confronted with is possibly an existence that will radically change the way we perceive ourselves as people. The strange rudimentary human figures, that have come into being here, constitute a way of discussing what kind of an entity the human being actually is, what it looks like – and what it will look like in 100 or 200 years.” He’s right – what are we and what will we look like in the future? Maybe Mermaids aren’t some mythical creature of the past, maybe they are an omen of what’s to come. I mean I’ve fantasized life as a Mermaid, because darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter…right? Modification is already very prevalent in history and throughout our modern society. Humans have been selectively modifying dogs for over 40,000 years and a foreboding fact is that they have more genetic diseases than any other species on the planet. Cosmetic modification is growing in popularity, people like Dennis Avner and Jocelyn Wildenstein who have already made themselves into cats, Rodrigo Alves the human Ken doll, Valeria Lukyanova the human barbie doll, among many others who have modified themselves to look like an animal, celebrity or character. Modification is also shaping the food industry, a prime example is Vegan food companies that are making plants look and taste like meat and animal products. Modification is essential for evolution, development and the life of our species and planet. I just hope we start to focus on modifying the right things! And what’s at the forefront of something that we can all easily modify to change the world is what we eat by adapting to a more plant-based diet. Animal agriculture is a major contributor to climate change, if humans perished at the same rate that we kill animals for food, the entire population would be gone in 17 days… ALL 7.7 billion of us! The majority of people resist change until it becomes mainstream until a landmark is established, a turning point in behaviour that you can’t turn back from or an event that shakes the world awake. I just hope we won’t need another catastrophic event to make the changes needed because if we look around at our environment it is saturated with landmark disasters that are guiding us to take action. One of the best traits we have as humans is the ability to change and hopefully, it will be for the better and not the worst, if that means cosmetically implating wings on your back and calling yourself a fairy then go, live your truth as long as you are a good human. A collective modification of the mind is needed for us to evolve.

Christina Abbott