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Paranoid Scores in The Dark: Kem School
Institute of Contemporary Arts
A group of people lie down under a single white light, performing Mica Levi's star star star
Kem performing Mica Levi’s (star star star) directed by PRICE at Ephemera Festival 2022. Photo: Emma Szumlas

Kem School is an experimental educational program hosted in Warsaw. It was created in response to a local need for alternative – alter-institutional – art education facilitating the research of processual art practice and self-organisation. In initiating Kem School, Kem focuses on the notions of embodied knowledge, social choreography and movement as a political act.

In this workshop drawing from Kem’s research in an expanded understanding of choreography – into the ways that movement is political, or that group experiences can create new political worlds – Kem will suggest some collective tools to try out in the exhibition space. The darkness of the bunker – sometimes a hideout, sometimes a panic room, sometimes an absence – will become a site of discovery. Reading and listening as a group of bodies, Kem and workshop participants will see if somatic exercises can open us up to embodied forms of knowledge.

Samuel R. Delany’s writing, which was integral to Wielebinski’s research for this exhibition, will become the material on which the workshop exercises tools for collective study. Reading will serve as a point of entry into methods of imagining and world-building – like following choreographic scores, including voices, music and movement, and the play of mapping ideas. Kem will introduce participants to these methods which originate from the political and artistic context of Kem School and from Kem’s wider program that blurs the boundaries between art, curating, education, activism, clubbing and community-making.

Nested in darkness, we look out towards an unpromising future from a violent present.

How can we turn darkness and paranoia into a generative site?

How can we imagine survival strategies?

How can a bunker become a darkroom?

Kem is a Warsaw-based queer feminist collective focused on choreography, performance and sound at the interface with social practice and community building. Since 2021, Kem has hosted an experimental, alter-institutional educational program in Warsaw called Kem School. Their projects are characterised by hybridity and fluidity, blurring the boundaries between art, curating, education, activism, clubbing and community-making practices. It is a community created in the process of collaboration and engagement with the politics of embodiment, feeling and subjectivity in relation to collectivity. Kem experiments with formats and strengthens queer, feminist and antiracist artistic practices and discourses.

With the participation of:

Jose Funnell
Michał Grzegorzek
Stefa Gosiewsk
Ola Knychalska
Tosia Leniarska
01:30 pm
Sat, 16 Dec 2023
Lower Gallery

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Two people sit in a sparse white gallery with arch windows. Above them is a high, green neon circle with an upside-down red triangle in it
Kem School at PLATO Ostrava. Photo: Dominika Goralska