Marta Keil – performing arts curator, researcher and writer, based in Warsaw, Poland. Since 2019 she co-runs Performing Arts Institute in Warsaw. She often works in a curatorial tandem Reskeil with Grzegorz Reske. Together they curated Konfrontacje Teatralne — international performing arts festival in Lublin from 2013 ro 2017. She worked as curator and dramaturg with i.e. Agnieszka Jakimiak, Lina Majdalanie, Rabih Mroué, She She Pop, Agata Siniarska, Ana Vujanović. She initiated the East European Performing Arts Platform (EEPAP), that she collaborated with until 2019. Together with Agata Adamiecka-Sitek and Igor Stokfiszewski she has been running „The Agreement” project at Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw (2018-2019). Since 2019 she cooperates as a facilitator with the Reshape program. Between 2014 and 2016 she worked as curator and dramaturg at Teatr Polski in Bydgoszcz. Worked also as performing arts expert in the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and cooperated with the Zbigniew Raszewski Theater Institute in Warsaw. She teaches curatorial practice and institutional critique at the Jagiellonian University, Kraków and SWPS University, Warsaw. Editor of the books: “Choreography: Autonomies” (2019), „Choreography: Politicality” (2018), „Reclaiming the Obvious: on the Institution of Festival” (2017), “Dance, Process, Artistic Research. Contemporary Dance in the Political, Economic and Social Context of “Former East” of Europe” (2015).

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I have been invited by Joanna to co-think about the Grand Re Union gathering as a researcher and curator working mostly in the field of performing arts and reflecting the institutional practices. Albeit my curatorial practice is deeply rooted in the contemporary theatre, I have been carefully observing and reflecting choreography in recent years, perceiving it as space where new ways of being together are actually activated, embodied and practiced.

While co-working on the original plan for the Grand Re Union as a 10-days long festival in June 2020, I have been imagining it as a crack in time, where we could not only take a break from every day flow, but also when we can invite contemporary artists practices to encounter with its past – and their various transformations, developed within last decades.

It was somehow about inviting the ghosts of previous fights and hopes to haunt our anxious present time and share with us their wisdom, successes and failures. I’ve been imagining Grand Re Union as a temporary common space that would let us feel, experience and learn each other; as a live gathering in its deep political meaning, where unexpected and unthinkable ways of being together and support each other are activated.

What seemed fascinating to me was an attempt to document such an encounter and search for diverse ways of translating the live experience into a material that can be shared further, outside the ephemeral community temporarily gathered at one place.

The pandemic outbreak forced us to resign from the live gathering but strongly reinforced the need of support and solidarity. I would be happy to see how we might translate the 10 days live gathering into 10 issues of online magazine: an online resource of knowledge and shared practices; a way to get together while being physically isolated. Maybe it could become an actual political gesture: as a tool we could potentially use to support our every struggles.