The Art of Deception

Exhibition by Isaac Monté, in collaboration with Toby Kiers

4 Oct 2016
19 Mar 2017

What happens if humans manipulate organs for aesthetic purposes? And what is inner beauty anyway? Visit The Art of Deception: A collection of transformed pigs hearts that explore how biological interventions and aesthetic manipulation can be used as tools for the ultimate deception: The transformation of inner beauty.

By designer Isaac Monté and evolutionary biologist Toby Kiers (VU).

Opening hours: Wed - Fri 17:00 - 19:00 / Sat + Sun 15:00 - 19:00
We offer tours for groups upon request.


The Art of Deception in the Sluisdeurenloods - Margherita Soldati (IT), Isaac Monté

The Art of Deception

Challenging the contemporary notions of beauty and offer a vision on society's pursuit for perfection.

Humans use deception to achieve perfection in society, art and science. Reacting to this through art, Monté and Kiers have taken discarded pig hearts and transformed them into elegant vessels for new life.

By decellularizing the hearts and re-populating them with various techniques they aesthetically improved the hearts for humans. This procedure marks a new era of synthetic biology - where organs are stripped of their cellular contents, leaving behind a sterile scaffold that can be repopulated with stemcells. While the medical utilisation of this resource is being realised, the artistic and creative value of these ghost organs represents unexplored territory. Can the ghost organs function as blank canvas for designers? And will humans be able to manipulate organs for aesthetic purposes?


The Art of Deception through windows - Margherita Soldati (IT)

Day and Nighttime views

18 transformed pig hearts will displayed at Mediamatic's 19th century Sluisdeurenloods. This means that you will also have the opportunity to view the work alongside our public lectures and rentals. And that the lit up hearts can be seen through the windows for an alternative night time viewing.

Book: The Art of Deception

The publication The Art of Deception shows an insight into the transformation of the hearts.


Book: The Art of Deception - Exploring the artistic and creative value of synthetic biology by transforming pigs heart into design objects. You can purchase this booklet together with your ticket to The Art of Deception Exhibition . Isaac Monté (BE), Toby Kiers, Anisa Xhomaqi

Book preview

Isaac Monté

Isaac Monté is a Belgian design activist based in Rotterdam. He creates design objects and installations as a reaction to social, ecological or economical problems. He uses design as a medium to transform forgotten or overlooked problems into possibilities and opportunities. His previous works include Filter Factory, birdhouses made out of cigarette filters and Les Sauvages, a collection of masks made out of fur from roadkill. In 2015 Isaac received the Bio Art and Design Award, which gave him the opportunity to create The Art of Deception in collaboration with Toby Kiers, Professor in Evolutionary Biology at the VU in Amsterdam.

Toby Kiers

Toby Kiers is evolutionary biologist and Professor of Mutualistic Interactions at the VU Amsterdam. Toby's research focuses on how cooperation between species (mutualisms) respond and evolve together within a rapidly changing world, with the ultimate aim of linking this to environmental changes. All around us organisms are engaged in intimate cooperations and trades. From the intestinal bacteria in our guts to the bees that pollinate crops, we actually know very little of how cooperative relationships evolve in nature. Toby Kiers is also on the Mediamatic board of advisers.


The Art of Deception visitors - Margherita Soldati (IT)


The Art of Deception
4th October 2016 - 14 February 2017
Daytime opening hours with tickets:
Wed - Fri : 17:00 - 19:00
Sat + Sun: 15:00 - 19:00

Entrance fee: 5€ (including the booklet The Art of Deception)

In the evenings and nights the hearts can be viewed for free through the windows. It is also possible to see the collection during events.

Sluisdeurenloods, Mediamatic Biotoop
Dijkspark 6, 1019 BS, Amsterdam