Insurgent Skinships

Inaugural lecture by Serina Tarkhanian Սերինա Թարխանյան

Text Information/
Picture Gallery/

November 23, 2023, 6 pm
The lecture is part of the opening of the exhibition Nature Red in Tooth and Claw.

Curated by Hana Janečková.

Event will be held in English.

What does venture capitalism have to do with vaginal fluids? This lecture-performance by Serina Tarkhanian will unpack the research behind their new design project titled Insurgent Skinships, which centres around the hidden politics of vaginal microbiome transplants (VMT), an emerging experimental medical treatment for intractable and recurrent bacterial vaginosis. Tarkhanian, a designer and Rights to Microbes activist, employs design as a method for critically investigating and re-forming biomedical practices in light of body politics and the ecological crisis. Through the use of biohacking tools and techniques they developed for VMT’s, Tarkhanian will delve into how people’s bodily microbes are turned into proprietary treatments and pharmaceutical products, and how Insurgent Skinships between people with vaginas might better support microbial health for those excluded by the biomedical industrial complex.

Serina Tarkhanian Սերինա Թարխանյան is a Canadian-Armenian designer, researcher and writer whose work explores contemporary issues around care and social conditions of health and well-being. Tarkhanian’s work combines biomedicine, ceramics, glasswork and performance into body-centric experiences, with the intention of contributing to microbial health equity and human-planetary health. They are a PhD Fellow at Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i Oslo, Norway, and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Award recipient. They hold a Master of Arts in Social Design from the Design Academy Eindhoven. Their work has recently been showcased at the Venice Architecture Biennale, Dutch Design Week, Salone del Mobile Milano, Norwegian BioArt Arena and Art in The Open. The work they are presenting in this exhibition is generously supported by the Canadian Council for the Arts.


ERSTE Foundation is main partner of tranzit.

Supported using public funding by the Slovak Arts Council.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Media partners:, Flash Art CZ & SK, Kapitál,

Սերինա Թարխանյան (Serina Tarkhanian): Vaginal Microbiome Transplant Ritual, 2023

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