The gut is a channel for things to enter and for things to come out. For things to stay? A nest? For things to breed? Sprouts, germs, barbs, claws, boldness and fear. What comes in never comes out again? Beset by heavy metals and contaminated fluids. Ingested surroundings. Rumbling. To experience a gagging sensation. Organs shrivel up the body. To have the guts to drop, spit, and vomit. Sight-clouding dizziness. Sprawling.

Swallowing A Barbed Wire is a research into the gut and the different ways in which it can be parasitized. It’s an attempt to materialize and give a voice to what is unintentionally or subconsciously ingested and develops its own life in the gut. It deals with the effects of actual parasites or misplaced bacteria and the unwanted emotions caused by external conditions or events that lead to a disruption of the body’s functionality. It asks how to be dysfunctional and surrender to an uncanny gut feeling.

Mara Kirchberg (she/her) is the artist in residence at Kanuti Gildi SAAL, Cellar Hall in November. She is a transdisciplinary artist currently based in Tallinn. Her work deals with the materiality of flesh and boundary objects such as organs and casings. She creates installative environments that open interior spaces to the outside to reveal how bodies - human and otherwise - function or how their functionality is disrupted. Her practice commits to ways of composing through decomposition and often involves unreliable materials such as organic matter and fluids. She considers broken pieces a fertile ground for a new body of work that contain suggestions for how to do less.