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Ke Sklárně 3213/15
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Discovering Other Knowledge: Symposium

Ke Sklárně 3213/15, Praha MeetFactory
Discovering Other Knowledge: SymposiumDiscovering Other Knowledge: Symposium

10. 9. - 11. 9. 2022

The international, interdisciplinary, and experimental symposium organised by the MeetFactory Gallery is a part of the long-term exhibition project Other Knowledge. The project is devoted to the kinds of knowledge that are based on emotions, immediate experience, faith, or imagination; those kinds of knowledge which defy the generally accepted norms or names, classifications or probability. Such knowledge takes us beyond European rationality. However, the purpose of the Other Knowledge project is not to disqualify all logic and science, but rather to highlight the wider framework of our existence in the world. The Western thought tradition is connected with the power structures based on oppression (colonialism, patriarchy) or extractivism (aimed at the environment and people), besides others, which contribute to the current social, economic, and environmental problems. We believe that it is a task of arts and culture to focus on alternatives of such systems.

The two-day symposium called Discovering Other Knowledge is to take place during the final weekend of the Let Me Hear Your Footprints exhibition and connect a wide range of themes (see the schedule framework below) which previous exhibitions since 2020 were devoted to. The symposium program involves both artists and experts of various disciplines. The thematic blocks are to include both informational and theoretical lectures and talks and contributions aimed at various senses allowing an active audience participation. The aim of the symposium is to get to know and gain experience via various means, using both your body and emotions. Nevertheless, the active participation extent is entirely individual.

Practical information:
The event is for both Czech and English speaking audiences thanks to the presence of simultaneous interpreters. The admission is free and you can visit only some of the thematic blocks. We recommend registering in advance. Small refreshments are to be served during the event. On Saturday, you can have a vegetarian lunch as a buffet meal for a symbolic price.

Participants: Margrét M. Norðdahl, Aaron McPeake, Eva Koťátková & Hana Polanská, Felix Kiessling, Jaroslav Pavlíček, Vladimír Turner, Charlotte Jarvis, Jana King Kochánková, Lada Hubatová-Vacková, Marie Tučková, Luiza Prado de O. Martins, Nadim Samman etc.
Symposium conception: Tereza Jindrová and Eva B. Riebová
Symposium production: Alena Brošková
Visual identity: Richard Wilde

The symposium is supported by the peoples of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants.
The event is part of Prague Art Week


Saturday, September 10th, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
Other Knowledge project introduction with the curators Tereza Jindrová and Eva B. Riebová 

1st block: Artists with Special Needs and Abilities in the Field of Contemporary Art

Jóhanna Ásgeirsdótir: Festival Art Without Borders in Reykjavíku
Margrét M. Norðdahl: Margrét M. Norðdahl: From Homo Sapiens to Human Sapiens. Choosing inclusion, as an artist, as an educator, as a human. 


Eva Koťátková & Hana Polanská: Rediscovering fundamental bodily experience through work with imagination
Aaron McPeake: Artists with special needs and special abilities in the field of contemporary art

lunch break

2nd block: Art and Adventure 

Jaroslav Pavlíček: What it's like to live in Antarctica
Nadim Samman: Art and the Ends of the World
16:00 – 17:00
Vladimír Turner: Adding a Missing Space 

Sunday, September 11th, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. 

1st block: Physicality and Reproduction

Charlotte Jarvis: 'Female' Semen and Other Acts of Resistance  
Jana King Kochánková: The Strength of the Centre 

2nd block: Hand Crafts and Communality

Lada Hubatová-Vacková: Restored craft in contemporary design. Revival and updating of traditional practices in the (post)digital age
Marie Tučková a členky sboru Lada: Let's spin thoughts into that long thread

3rd block: Wisdom from Nature

Tereza Rumlerová: Las plantas maestras (the teacher plants) and their use in traditional Amazonian medicine
Felix Kiessling: Taumel
Luiza Prado de O. Martins: The Sermon of the Weeds

SATURDAY, September 10th 


Jóhanna Ásgeirsdótir: Festival Art Without Borders in Reykjavíku


Margrét M. Norðdahl: From Homo Sapiens to Human Sapiens. Choosing inclusion, as an artist, as an educator, as a human. 

 Being human is a personal and shared experience. The decision to change our perspective towards an inclusive mindset and inclusive society is a necessity.
Margrét will share her experience and methods as a neurodivergent artist and educator working with diverse artists and students. 

(IS) Margrét M. Norðdahl (*1978) is an artist and holds an M.A. degree in art teaching. Her M.A. thesis is based on results of qualitative research and examines the potential for people with intellectual disabilities to exploit the opportunities in the field of Arts.

Margrét has worked in art since 2001. She is the founder of LISTVINNSLAN (e. The Art Factory), a brand-new inclusive art venue in Iceland. She is a teacher at Fjölmennt, an adult education centre for life-long learning for disabled people and a lecturer at the Icelandic University of the Arts. Margrét is Chair of the Board at the Reykjavík Art Festival and a board member at the Art Without Borders festival.

Before she was the manager of the art festival List án Landamæra / Art Without Borders, head of the Fine art department for people with disabilities at The Reykjavík School of Visual Arts and a board member at Safnasafnið - the Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum at Svalbarðsströnd.

She has curated numerous art exhibitions of works by marginalized artists and has given lectures on inclusion in the art world before on different platforms of art, education and disability in Iceland and abroad. She has been awarded ÖBÍ - The Icelandic Disability Alliance awards for her work towards inclusion in the arts, the Reykjavík Human rights awards together with Art without borders, and other awards for her involvement in this field.

Eva Koťátková & Hana Polanská: Rediscovering fundamental bodily experience through work with imagination

Through proprioception we perceive the position of our body and its distance from other bodies or objects, exteroception helps us to perceive the world through our senses. However, today's systems of society overvalue and prefer to use only the youngest parts of the brain responsible for analytical information processing and language, and suppress the abilities of the older parts of the brain that we share with animals. This reduces the potential to consciously perceive the world through our own physicality. So we will try to use our bodies to observe and discover the non-hierarchical, non-judgmental, non-prescriptive, inclusive, respectful, open possibilities of sharing experience through dynamic relationships with other bodies and objects in space. 

(CZ) Eva Koťátková (*1982) is a fine artist actively involved in the Czech and international contexts. She received her Master’s degree from The Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (AVU) and her Doctorate from The Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague.  Koťátková was the Jindřich Chalupecký Award Laureate in 2007. She is the co-founder of the platform Institute of Anxiety, which creates a space for cooperation between artists, theorists and activists. Her work explores forms of power, manipulation, discrimination and control foisted by institutions on those who defy norms (or what is considered normal) in some way or another. Using various media, Koťátková then searches for other models of functioning, communication and sharing which would enable individuals and collectives to act in more free, equal, and empathic ways.  She works with marginalized stories and emotions often inviting children to collaborate with her.  Koťátková has exhibited at the Istanbul Biennale (2019), The Metropolitan Museum in New York (2018), 21er Haus – Museum for Contemporary Art in Vienna (2017), Sonsbeek (2016), The New Museum Triennial in New York (2015), Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin (2014) and the Venice Biennale (2013).

(CZ) Hana Polanská graduated from the Dance Conservatory in Prague, studied art history at the Catholic Theological Faculty in Prague, choreography at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and worked at the National Theatre Prague as a member of the ensemble and later as a soloist. Since 2010 she has been working as an independent dancer, performer, choreographer, teacher and researcher. She is currently a postgraduate student at the Faculty of Physiology, Department of Physiology, where she is studying the effect of movement on the brain and is part of the international project DanceWellTeachers, which brings artistic practice to people with Parkinson's disease. She has completed a three-year course in movement analysis and somatic techniques with Rena Milgrom. As an artist, she focuses on collaborations with Czech and international visual artists, and as a researcher, she works on psychometrics of the elderly. She has created several original performances and films. She also explores the interaction between art and dance on a theoretical level, where she investigates the political possibilities of choreographic practice in the field of contemporary dance. She teaches at the Department of Nonverbal Theatre at HAMU and at the ZUŠ. She is engaged in scientific publishing.

Aaron McPeake: Artists with special needs and special abilities in the field of contemporary art

In this section of the symposium Aaron McPeake will outline his own arts practice within the context of him having gained blindness at the beginning of the century and his journey since. Drawing upon his PhD research which examined how gaining blindness affected the lives and work of artists, the talk will look at the special circumstances or constraints that work must be completed within and the kinds of outcomes that this generated.

(IE) Aaron McPeake (*1965) is an Irish sculptor, who works with numerous media from bronze casting to film, photography and sound. In 2002, Aaron McPeake had to abandon a long career in stage lighting design due to the loss of most of his eyesight. He returned to arts education and practice on a full time basis and received a first class honors degree in Arts, Design and Environment from Central Saint Martins (2005). His work places emphasis on the possibility for many types of readings and he views the process of making artwork as akin to writing poetry – where the visual imagination is integral to both its making and reception. Although he is registered blind, the emphasis in touch and sound in his work is not intended to act as a replacement or to compensate for the visual sense. It is more about enhancing the experience of those who encounter it, his work provides novel opportunities for haptic exploration. In 2011 he won the Cass Sculpture Prize with his bell bronze works: Some Cuts Resonate and in 2013 McPeake was commissioned by Camden Arts Centre, London.


Jaroslav Pavlíček together with David Böhm will talk about Antarctica

Jaroslav Pavlíček will talk about how ordinary life on an Antarctic station differs from life in civilization and what the polar explorers tried to prove by staying at the ecological station.

(CZ) Jaroslav Pavlíček (*1943) focuses on survival in harsh conditions, when a plane crashes, shipwrecks or you get lost in the mountains. Today's man is used to finding everything he needs on his mobile phone. But what if your phone doesn't work…

Nadim Samman: Art and the Ends of the World

The presentation will cover my curatorial perspective on exhibition making and site-specific practice, reviewing projects and themes referencing The Antarctic Biennale, Treasure of Lima: A Buried Exhibition, and more.

(DE) Nadim Samman read Philosophy at University College London before receiving his PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art. He was Co-Director of Import Projects e.V. in Berlin from 2012 to 2019 and, concurrently, Curator at Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna (2013-2015). He curated the 4th Marrakech Biennale (with Carson Chan) in 2012, and the 5th Moscow Biennale for Young Art in 2015. He co-founded and co-curated the 1st Antarctic Biennale (2017) and the Antarctic Pavilion (Venice, 2015-). In 2014 Foreign Policy Magazine named him among the ‘100 Leading Global Thinkers’. Widely published, in 2019 he was First Prize recipient of the International Award for Art Criticism (IAAC). He is currently Curator at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin.

Vladimír Turner: Adding the missing place

A micro-expedition into the adjacent thickets, piles of construction materials and urban mush near the MeetFactory. With our temporary entourage, we will venture into the neighborhood and establish an ephemeral monument to a place that, thanks to the massive development of Smíchov city, will soon no longer exist. Local developers upload photos of their still non-existent luxury apartments to Google Maps. We will also use this platform for a purpose for which it was not intended to document our intervention.

For many years, (CZ) Vladimír Turner (*1986) has persistently pointed out problematic, and often strongly cautionary, moments of Anthropocene civilisation in various places around the world. The enchanted mechanism of consumption-production, the deceitfulness of marketing strategies, the extraction of non-renewable resources, the brutal devastation of the landscape, mass tourism, the misconception of the possibility of shackling the organism of a big city to a structure of order, gentrification, homelessness,  inhumane methods of political systems. In fact, the theme of the essence of pure humanity, personal and social responsibility towards the landscape, nature, and a sustainable way of life based on local self-sufficiency is recalled again and again. He points out the themes through matter-of-factly simple acts. This makes the awareness of the necessity of individual engagement all the more intense. Although his conceptual works have an activist character, often dealing with the subversion of paradox, the expressive power of the pure artistry cannot be ignored. 


SUNDAY, September 11th: 


Charlotte Jarvis: In Posse: 'Female' Semen and Other Acts of Resistance  

Throughout history, semen has been revered as a magical substance – a totem of literal and symbolic potency. The project In Posse aims to rewrite this cultural narrative; to use art and science to disrupt the patriarchy by making semen from “female” cells. Artist and researcher Charlotte Jarvis will be discussing the project and previewing some more recent adventures in reproductive futures. 

(UK) Charlotte Jarvis (*1984)  works at the intersection of art and science. Charlotte’s practice often utilizes living cells and DNA: she has grown her own tumor, recorded music onto DNA and seen her heart beat outside her body. Charlotte has exhibited her work in twelve international solo shows and over one hundred group exhibitions. Charlotte is currently a lecturer at the Royal College of Art.

Jana King Kochánková: The Strength of the Centre 

How to shake off anger, aggression and stress out of your pelvis? How to easily change the sitting habits in our lives? How to take care of your pelvis? How to feel good and comfortable in your body? How to incorporate simple movements into our hectic everyday lives?

We will try out and learn so-called instant exercises suitable for today's hectic times.  Exercises that are suitable for releasing stress from our body, specifically for relaxing the pelvic area, which is the center of our body. Suitable for both women and men.

(CZ) MgA. Jana King Kochánková studied biology and art education at PdF UK. She subsequently studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague with an internship at Cooper Union in New York. In 2007 she founded her clothing brand KOKO fashion. She attended the Pelvic Floor School, studying yoga and conscious energy work. She is a teacher of Yoga, 3x3 Method and Pelvic Floor Secrets I, II. She has exhibited in New York, Prague, Brno, Berlin, Zurich and Litomyšl. On her journeys through life she has met shamans and teachers from different cultures. She practices their teachings in her "ordinary" everyday life. And then she gently and lovingly transmits all this with playfulness and joy in her creativity courses for children and adults, workshops for women, yoga classes and personal consultations.


Lada Hubatová-Vacková: Restored craft in contemporary design. Revival and updating of traditional practices in the (post)digital age

A number of contemporary designers - both in the Czech Republic and internationally - are turning away from accelerated mass production and focusing on an updated revival of traditional craft practices. The 21st century craft revival (neo-craft) is often the result of slow handmade work in the 19th century Ruskinian spirit, but at the same time it is often intertwined with current methods in digital media, new composite materials, eco-farming, socio-economic collaboration, etc. The paper will highlight the theoretical background and concepts used and present concrete examples of "old craft" today.

(CZ) Lada Hubatová-Vacková (*1969) is an art historian and curator of exhibitions focused on art and design of the 19th - 21st centuries. She is the author or co-author of numerous publications, texts and exhibition projects (e.g. Husák's 3+1. Studies in the History of Decorative Arts, 1880-1930, 2011; Things and Words. Art Industry, Applied Art and Design in Czech Theory and Criticism, 1870-1970, 2014; Václav Cigler. Design, 2015; There and Back. Contemporary Design, Architecture and Urbanism, 2015; Building the State. Representation of Czechoslovakia in Art, Architecture and Design, 2016; The First Republic, 2018; Street Theatre. Advertising and window dressing in the context of modernism, 1918-1938; 2021). She was nominated for the F. X.Šalda Prize for her publication The Silent Revolution Within Ornament, which explored the experimental nature of decorative arts between 1880 and 1930. For the exhibition with the same title she was awarded a special Gloria Musealis Prize and the Artist has a Prize award given by young artists to representatives of the older generation. The permanent exhibition The First Republic 1918-1938 realized for the National Gallery Prague, on which she collaborated with Anna Pravdová and Hana Rousová, received the Gloria Musealis Award of the Czech ICOM Committee.

Marie Tučková a Lada: Let's spin thoughts into that long thread

A simple embroidery workshop for everyone - conceived by the artist Marie Tučková. During the workshop, a canvas symbolizing a floating river will be spread between the participants, on which we will embroider simple shapes and personal messages together. This handicraft activity will be accompanied by the singers of the Lada choir singing women's work folklore songs, which traditionally accompanied the processing of wool, flax or hemp.

The Lada Women´s Choir was formed in 2015 from a group of friends who share the joy of singing and meeting together. We choose songs of girl´s and women´s character - love songs, wedding songs, lawn songs, ballads, etc. and we try to interpret them according to the carriers of folk culture, especially those born earlier. Our repertoire is mainly based on the folk music richness of the localities of the Moravian-Slovakian border and central Slovakia. The singers participating on the symposium are Anežka Heinzlová, Klára Fleková, Eva Vašků and Marta Ebenová.

(CZ) Marie Tučková (*1994) also known by the pseudonym Ursula Uwe, she obtained a bachelor’s degree at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (Alexandra Vajd and Martin Kohout’s photography studio). She continued her master’s studies at the Dutch Art Institute Art Praxis. She completed an internship at the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. Her work is thematically related to new technologies and social networks and asks how they transform human perception, communication and language. MarieTučková’s work is mostly autobiographical, but in her projects she often expresses herself through the alter ego, thanks to which she is able to objectify the researched situations or look for other ways of sensitivity, developing empathy and renaming feelings. He connects these realms with text, which often transforms into lyrics, a voiceover to a video, a sound story, or a performance script. Tučková presented her work to a number of independent galleries and institutions in the Czech Republic, but also abroad. In the years 2016–2018, she was part of the Atelier without a Leader team.


Felix Kiessling: Taumel

No scale. No direction. No up. No down. 

(DE) Felix Kiessling (*1980) is a Berlin-based artist known for conceptual art, often in the form of land art, video art, light and space installations. His work builds a bridge between physical matter and phenomenology while also reflecting on social constructions and their entanglement with the material world. Since the beginning, Felix Kiessling has been driven by the dizzy feeling of standing on a large planetary sphere that has no scale and no  direction, and on which there is no up and down.

Tereza Rumlerová: Las plantas maestras (the teacher plants) and their use in traditional Amazonian medicine

Teacher plants are held in high esteem within traditional Amazonian medicine. They are worked with, for example, as part of a plant-based diet. In this lecture they will be introduced, in the context of the dieting process in the Peruvian center of Takiwasi. You will learn about traditional Amazonian medicine, and the lecture will be enriched by specific testimonies of interviewees who participated in the dieting process at the Takiwasi Center. 

(CZ) Mgr. Tereza Rumlerová, Ph.D. is a graduate of the Psychology Department of Palacky University in Olomouc. Her research focuses on traditional Amazonian medicine. She is a participant of analytical training. She works as a psychologist in a clinical psychology outpatient clinic. She is also engaged in psychological counselling for women in need.

Luiz Prado de O. Martins: The Sermon of the Weeds

 This performance explores the complex and contradictory territory at the intersection of patriarchal structures, Christian belief systems, and ongoing struggles for reproductive rights. Through the format of a sermon, these reflections are developed through an examination of the relationships between humans and plants used in abortifacient and contraceptive preparations at various points in history.

(BR) Luiza Prado de O. Martins (*1985) is an artist, writer, and researcher whose work examines themes around fertility, reproduction, coloniality, gender, and race. She holds an MA from the Hochschule für Künste Bremen and a PhD from the Berlin University of the Arts. Through performance, video, and installation, her work investigates how colonial gender difference is inscribed on bodies through technologies and practices of birth control.