Lucy Beech – Reproductive Exile
November 4 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Beech’s new film Reproductive Exile follows the fictional story of a woman embarking in cross-border, assisted reproduction.
The film is shot in the Czech Republic, where the lack of legislation associated with reproductive rights sustains a booming fertility industry. This degree of freedom attracts a diverse range of commissioning parents, driven to the country by a range of social, political and economic forces.
The story unfolds in a private, international clinic built in a former public sanatorium where the protagonist is introduced to ‘Eve’ (short for Evatar); a three-dimensional representation of the female reproductive system. Based on research into recent developments in reproductive science, ‘Eve’ is the future of drug testing in women and personalized medicine.
Because pre-clinical research on women’s health has historically involved mostly male-derived cells and male animals, these practices have resulted in a lack of information about female physiology. Eve addresses this historical absence of the female body and, as the intended parent discovers more about her body’s incapacity to produce the hormones she needs, she becomes obsessed with Eve, confiding in her about the drugs she injects daily, derived in some cases from pregnant horse urine and from the urine of menopausal women.
Whilst considering this gender bias in biomedical research, the looping film is characterised by the entrapment of a perpetual journey and reveals the parents’ dependency on an intricate constellation of invisible female bodies; human and non-human, that work, care, constitute and provide for her reproductive journey. These bodies are linked by the production and sharing of animal and human sex hormones central to reproductive technologies.