"Sequentia"

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday 1 to 9 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m.Through January 2, 2011 at Frost Art Museum, 10975 SW 17th St., Miami; 305-348-2890; thefrost.fiu.edu.

Just like the Richard Attenborough character in Jurassic Park, Xavier Cortada is toying with DNA deposits as part of his work. But there is nothing primal to shriek about in "Sequentia," his weirdly clinical solo show at Frost Art Museum, where he plans to create a live DNA strand in a petri dish with the public's aid. The exhibit features four large canvases depicting portraits of adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine. These are the nucleotides that comprise the four bases of a DNA strand. Part of the modest science project-like display includes a station with postcard reproductions of his abstract renditions of the nucleotides. Visitors can select one randomly, leaving their thumbprint and DNA on the card. The premise is for them to swap their card for an original Cortada drawing hanging in a plastic baggie grid arranged on the wall, thereby exchanging their genetic coding for a piece of art. As strangers add their DNA to Cortada's random sequence of cards, microbiologists will clone the collected specimens in a lab as part of the show. It's one of those strange offerings where, unless you're a science geek, the artist may give you plenty to think about but, unlike the blockbuster dinosaur movie, little to look at.

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