Blood Thirst, or Eat Our Humble Pie
Jimmy Grima


Blood Thirst, or Eat Our Humble Pie

Ira Melkonyan’s research on blood, which constitutes this proposal, is a natural progression from her previous work exploring the performativity of liquids and non-human actants. This project extends on her work history and leans further into her laboratory skill set and enthusiasm as a DIY citizen scientist.

This proposal seeks to engage with (women’s) blood and the transfer of its knowledge, in the following ways: as a scientific concept, a fluid that carries hormones, neurotransmitters and much more; as affect and symbol; as a non-human entity with its own agency, object (or abject) oriented ontologies.

Ira’s objective, on a longer term, is to create an open-source process, a DIY home-kit, which allows the user to self-perform blood analysis. Within the research process she wants to get closer to a prototype while creating a poetic contextualising narrative to further the ideas of a hormonal compass and endocrinological maps of (female) bodies beyond the existing medical knowledge.

Research questions

  • Who has the agency to decide the framing of blood? 
  • How can we keep progressing our relationship towards this bodily fluid?
  • How is blood a “vibrant matter”?
  • What does our understanding and representation of blood say about the times we live in or relate to contemporary burning issues of political, economic and environmental crisis?
  • What is the performance of blood?
  • What does it mean for women to have access to self-knowledge in the form of self testing devices? 
  • How does self- knowledge and self-determination promote the conditions for interconnectivity? 

In conclusion, it is the phrase “Female hormones are a mystery” that stays with Ira in a productive way. And her ambition is not to demystify them but to re-fabulate endocrinological body knowledge from a transdisciplinary feminist perspective. She wants to sneak past the gate(keeping) of conventional medical science and wrap the wet knowledge that hormonal bloody entities provide. A portion of poetry, a portion of horror, a portion of spirituality, a portion of science, and messy leaking living bodies full of blood.

Ira Melkonyan

In 2010 Ira Melkonyan was awarded a degree in Microbiology and Virology. Following it, eight years later, there was an MA in Theatre from DAS Graduate School (DasArts) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Ira is one of the founding members of the rubberbodies collective (2009) in Malta, where together with a group of people she was an author of visual theatre performances, installations, interventions and publications.

Jimmy Grima

Jimmy Grima is an artist and theatremaker. He creates drawings, graphics, texts, multimedia installations, theatre and events.