Filip Kijowski has spent a residency at OpenArt in Sweden, where he collaborated with the local LGBTQ community in a series of workshops. The workshops focused on the exploration of queer bodies in space, using movement, writing, talking and illustration as a means of expression and creative exploration.
Throughout the residency, Kijowski led workshops that encouraged participants to use movement as a form of self-expression, to explore their own experiences, and as a way to find new ways of representing themselves through Kijowski’s leadership and art practice. The workshop participants were invited to explore the theme of queer bodies in space, using their own bodies and experiences. The workshops were a starting point for the creation of new (safe) spaces and ways within that space to express themselves and to explore their creativity.
In addition to the workshops, Kijowski also worked on his own art pieces, using his time in Sweden to develop new works that drew inspiration from the workshops and his interactions with the LGBTQ community. He used the collective experiences and stories shared by the participants during the workshops as an inspiration for his own work, creating pieces that explore the complexities of queer identity and the ways in which it intersects with the themes of space and movement. By collaborating with the local LGBTQ community, I hope this time he spent in Örebro gained new insights and perspectives on his ongoing practice as well as his nomadic research about queer bodies.
The final event of Kijowski’s work at OpenArt was presented at the local culture house. In an improvisational piece the artist and the community shared some of the processes they had been working around. In the nameless piece, they wore ski masks, some decorated, and ‘mirrored’ each other in pairs and seamlessly also in the group. Mirroring is best describing following what movement your partner is doing, without anyone being the outspoken leader. With the movement, a sound was present as well, the sound of the community and the artist speaking directly to the city of Örebro and what it’s like being queer here. The final event was an important opportunity to showcase the diversity of voices and experiences, and to give visibility to the community’s perspective, in particular, the queer bodies and their experiences.
Overall, Kijowski’s residency at OpenArt was a valuable and meaningful experience for both the artist and the LGBTQ community, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for the ways in which art can be used as a tool for exploring and representing diverse identities and experiences.
Curatorial text by Felicia Bjärmark Esbjörnsson