Bronze monument of a tick (bronze, surgical steel, 13mm) with microdermal piercing on Andris Eglītis body and later on wooden sculpture by Andris Eglitis
in collaboration with Elina Vitola

We erected statues, monuments of greatness and glory, commemorating war, victories over others – ”bloodsucking parasites” – like there was any victories to begin with! Only loss, on either end. We carried accomplishments like badges, pierced through our chests; the powerfulness of an individual seemingly more important than our communities.

That’s sick.

Sick is a life-sized, bronze sculpture of a tick, taking two forms. Ticks are ectoparasites, living on the surface of its hosts and feed on their blood. As ticks do, Sick latches itself on to the surface of a wooden sculpture and on to the skin of a human as a microdermal piercing. Small but resistant, it outwits and outlasts. There is a sense of taking over nature taking over: bronze as a material and the parasitic strategy of a tick resists the unpredictable forces of nature.

Body modification such as piercings, are an act of resistance, a token of collectivity: a symbol of being part of a chosen community. Carrying surgical steel in and on our bodies is perhaps deviant to nature, even if our bodies are endlessly modified by nature within and outside our skins. Control comes in specifically with the human-centric urge to outplay the more-than-human conditions of our lives, through modification of human and non-human bodies and landscapes.

Sick is an implant, that both belongs and creates fear.
Sick is a monument, as is the skin you live in.

Text by Remi Vesala


Thanks to: Uģis Albiņš, Aigars Altenbergs, Kristians Brekte, Danielle Collins, Andris Eglītis, Augusts Eglītis, Kaspars Kalniņš, Marita Lumi, Tõnu Narro, Margo Orupõld, Ivo Poormann, Dainis Špels, Kertu Tuberg, Mārtiņš Upītis, Sabīne Vernere, Remi Vesala, Pēteris Vīksna, Kitija Zaķīte, Latvian National Museum of Natural History, XXXLAB studio, Nordic Culture Point, VKKF and Ticks.