You have never seen anything quite like it. Bold colors and expressive motifs spring forth from a lineup of white lab coats — the symbol of the hard-working scientist has been given a new lease of life by graffiti artists for the 2019 Pasteurdon! With this exciting transformation comes an invitation to the viewer to see science in a vibrant, contemporary way.
All scientists don the ubiquitous white coat as soon as they enter their lab – both for safety reasons and to ensure the compliance of any experiments, but also as a sort of ritual. For the 2019 Pasteurdon, the Institut Pasteur’s public fundraising campaign which is also a major event that celebrates French research, a dozen contemporary urban artists accepted the invitation to customize a lab coat. Bebar, Bishop Parigo, Etienne Bardelli, Jean-Philippe Gournay, Jo BeR, Julia Kremer, Kekli, KRSN, L'Atlas, Mr POES and Basila, Panar, SUN 7 and ZDEY all agreed to rise to the challenge. For inspiration before getting to work, they met with Institut Pasteur scientists who gave them a glimpse behind the scenes of biomedical research.
Each artist proceeded with their own interpretation and the finished masterpieces were unveiled at the Pasteurdon launch, October 9, 2019, where Institut Pasteur scientists took to the catwalk wearing the colorful customized coats. After the launch, the distinctive sound of spray cans being shaken could be heard as some of the artists gave demonstrations of their creative talents to attendees. The following weekend, as part of Discovery Day — an opening of the Institut Pasteur laboratories to the public — two of the artists ran workshops, allowing participants to get hands-on experience with the materials used to create street art.
Tackling new viruses, characterizing disease outbreaks, dealing with a salmonella infection or tracing the epidemiology of seasonal influenza – not a week goes by without the Institut Pasteur's scientists rolling up their sleeves to take on a public health challenge. Their work could not be more relevant or essential to the health of humanity. It is fitting that their lab coats were a springboard for such a creative collaboration with such compelling results.