Gene CHP-48/OZ-378 is a fictional legal case where human tissue becomes the ultimate battlefield between governments and corporations, at the expense of the individual. The work questions fundamental legal, social and ethical values – where the State assumes ownership of the person, ‘in the public interest'.
9:30AM, Hall 4, The Supreme Court of Iceland, Reykjavik. Johanna Gungsmusdottir, you stand charged with five counts of High Treason. This offence carries a sentence of life imprisonment. How do you plead, guilty or not guilty?’ ‘Not guilty!’, shouted the furious young Icelandic woman standing in the dock. Johanna, a citizen of Iceland, discovers that her DNA contains a one-off gene: CHP-48/OZ-378. In 2000, the Icelandic government passed a law, granting a global leader in human genetics, DeCode, the right to own and commercialize the entire population’s genes. Appalled by these events, a life long rebel woman refuses to comply with the rules imposed by the Icelandic government, and decides to submit her body to a foreign nation for unusual experimentation.