An organ outside a body is out of place and strange. It is an in-between phase between its past inside the body and its future as food or other forms. Usually, in the process between its animal past and its new form, all sorts of interventions are done to remove associations with its origin. Billie van Katwijk reassembles the organ without a body with respect for its source. She invites imagination by speaking to the senses. Through our senses, we can connect to the unconscious, emotion, and memory; these intense feelings can lead to action. With the Ventri cow stomach leather, Billie explores how changing the tactility, spatial qualities, and the scent of a cow stomach could intensify feelings of wonder and disgust.
Billie proposes that the organ outside the body can be perceived as holding what Jane Bennett calls ‘thing-power’, meaning it can animate, act, and produce dramatic and subtle effects. Through artistic research, Billie investigates how organs outside the body can challenge the binary opposition between life and death. She aims for more attention to the ‘living’ side of these objects.

Organ Without a Body was part of the exhibition Foraging for […] at Nieuw Dakota in June 2022. The installation Organ Without a Body consists of sculptures made from the Ventri cow stomach leather and ceramic livers containing an Organ Without a Body-perfume. Some visitors were observed secretly stroking and even cuddling the objects. Some were repelled by the completely artificial organ-scent, while others found it comforting. In this way, the thing-power that this organ outside a body possesses.