The Protein Center is a place where people bond as a unit to master intellectually demanding work requiring the utmost focus; it is also a place where people come together for joint undertakings, to exchange ideas, or to enjoy a break on the building’s premises. It is therefore fitting for the artworks here to be about people. Proteome Heads have been designed to “intermingle” with the people on campus, while communicating and emphasising what connects them here: protein research, experiments, and work. In this sense, the heads represent human heads. And yet, by placing the heads entirely within the context of a research centre, their meaning is abstracted. The heads are therefore void of facial expression and lack a sculptural sense of taking up space. This weight and presence has been assigned instead to the subject of the research here: protein—represented by a three-dimensional helix. This structural framework infuses the piece with a sense of volume and expression that is absent in the heads themselves. This heightens the idea of interconnectedness explored in Proteome Heads, while infusing it with great potential for spectator identification.
The Protein Center is a research institute. Research, by definition, requires both a field and an activity. This dual nature is also the topic of the artwork, in this case expressed as both the act of research and the vast field of protein study. Proteome Heads express how complex the correlations between these two aspects actually are. At the same time, they make this complexity readily understandable, accessible, and even poignant. The artwork stands for innovation and scientific excellence. It is a conduit for fantasy, emotion, and a sense of human connection. The meta topic linking the research field and activity is joy. The joy of the research itself, of producing results, of reaping success, and of effective collaboration. The grouping and placement of the Proteome Heads reflects that spirit — in Location A as an individual, signifying the individual performance of a pioneer; in Location B as a group, signifying a collective performance that is the unique product of teamwork. The Proteome Heads let spectators see through to their core and into the spirit of the people whose stories they tell.