Practicing Futures While Grieving in Eight Movements

Frédéric Gies, Zeina Hanna, Justyna Stasiowska, Uma Breakdown, Siegmar Zacharias, Steve Heather, Carolina Mendonca, Catalina Insignares, Lydia Röder, Oisín Monaghan, Maciej Sado, Alice Heyward, Theo Ilichenko, Ilias Gkionis aka Ginger


Aug 26 & 27, 2022, 6pm - 11pm


Grief follows loss. Of someone else, of something and sometimes of ourselves.

But grief is not an absence. It’s relational and it is moving and it resonates with affective dissonances. As such, it is a mode of inhabiting our shared vulnerabilities and inherently social and political. Practices of grieving may engender a shared sense of sociality and communality, an experience that may even bring joy and pleasure.


With the program at Klosterruine, we – the curators Siegmar Zacharias and Christopher Weickenmeier – aim to de-privatize an experience that is universal but not nearly as monolithic as Western societies may have us believe. In a space of a 13th century ruin, artists, grief workers and activists are invited to complicate the idea of grieving and to articulate the collective dimensions of a feeling most of us are all too often left alone with.

Curated by Siegmar Zacharias & Christopher Weickenmeier

The program is part of In Ruins, a cross-district collaboration between Galerie im Turm and Klosterruine Berlin.


Alice Heyward is a dancer, choreographer and teacher from Naarm (Melbourne, Australia) living in Berlin. She is invested in thinking together with others through different forms, curious about the transformation of material and relations through embodiment and performance. Her practice develops through diverse collaborations internationally, as author, co-author and interpreter, constructing different situations for exchange and connection.

Carolina Mendonca and Catalina Insignares met in 2014 at the MA Choreography and Performance in Giessen. Since then they have been collaborating and maintaining a very close complicity in different manners of working together. The soil of their work is in workshops and seminars, moments where they can feel and think together with others. Reading groups, telepathic dances, psychic vision sessions, caresses and massages populate these encounters.

Ilias Gkionis aka GingerΈλα is a 24-years-old drag queen and an activist for human rights involved with political and social issues (LGBTQIA+ rights/ homelessness/ abused women*/ children’s rights). He/she is one of the Greek drag queens carrying the legacy of her drag mother Zackie Oh (queer HIV+ activist and drag artist Zak Kostopoulos) murdered in Athens in 2018. In 2022, Ilias became a political refugee after having received death threats as a consequence of publically standing up for a sexual assault victim.

Lydia Röder  –  Ever since her initial training, Lydia Röder has worked with people during the last phase of life. For over two decades, she was director of a hospice. She is an expert on issues of life, death and grief. Lydia is supervisor in her field, certified trainer of the German Association for Palliative Medicine, and works as a grief counsellor.

Maciej Sado – choreographer, performer, and dancer. Graduated from choreography in SNDO (School for New Dance Development) in Amsterdam 2016 and from medicine at the Medical University in Wrocław in 2012. In his work he investigates the concept of the obliqueness to challenge the contract between viewer-performer and question the usual perspective to enter in between spaces, the uncanny with- in normativities. He bodily devises technologies for manually augmented reali- ties. His involves himself in creative processes of other artists in a (as he calls it) dynamic dramaturgy, this forms crucial part of his extended choreo- graphic practice. He performs and performed for artists like: Ola Maciejewska, Florentina Holzinger & Vincent Riebeek, Tino Sehgal, Peaches, Keith Hennessy, Fernando Belfiore, Laima Jaunzema, Reza Mirabi. His latest works were presented during the festivals in Spain, Belgium, Poland, Austria, Germany and The Nether- lands. In 2016 he was a recipient of the DanceWeb scholarship during the Impulz- Tanz Festival in Vienna. He is a member of KuLe collective Berlin.

Oisín Monaghan (IE, UK, USA) is a dance artist and visual performer/creator currently residing in Wien. He began studying movement at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in NYC. He has worked with Tere O’Connor, Xavier Le Roy, Maria Hassabi, Dora Garcia, Ryan McNamara, Christopher Williams, Brendan Fernandes and John-Mark Owen. Oisín has also worked with distinguished photographers including Peter Lindbergh, Mario Testino, Terry Tsiolis, Ryan McGinley, Kenneth Willardt, Josh Olins and John Rusnak. He has also collaborated with various visual artists and presented work at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, Deitch Projects and The Chelsea Hotel.

Theo Ilichenko is a multidisciplinary artist, performer and filmmaker. Influenced by the local AIDS crisis in their native Russia, their hybrid performance, film and writing practice often explores the intersection of grief and gender-based violence, and film and photo portraiture, polyphonic storytelling and the erotic moving body as affective mediums of care, appreciation, delegated mourning, engaged witnessing and cultural memory from a position of being a lover, caregiver and survivor. They hold a degree in Art in Context at the Berlin University of the Arts and have additional background in social work with migrants, refugees and violence survivors.

Uma Breakdown – Hi I’m Uma, I’m a disabled trans* artist/writer/researcher interested in animals, horror films, queer feminist literature, and games design. My specific research interests include the work of Hélène Cixous, Jean Genet, Luce Irigaray, and Georges Bataille, and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick; and the enacted politics of art that supports agency and collaboration in its audience. I live in Gateshead, UK.
In 2020 I finished a PhD​ about The Evil Dead, care, trans* écriture feminine, and disaster. That year I created a plant horror RPG at Kim? in Riga; a video game entitled “Animal Agency” about sleeping on the ground next to animals for FACT, Liverpool; and a short story about SSRIs and Artaud for Ma Bibliothéque. In 2021 I produced web-based artworks for Akademie Schloss Solitude and Wysing Arts Centre as part of the Digital Solitude and British Council NET//WORK residencies respectively; an Augmented Reality sci-fi story about living on an oil rig, as part of Shape Arts’ “Unfolding Shrines” project; and “Take The Moonlight By The Tail”, an interactive skaz space opera about losing your mind while looking after the ones you love the most, commissioned by Arebyte Gallery. Animal Agency also won 2nd place in the audience awards at Athens Digital Art Festival. So far in 2022 I’ve been (with my long term collaborator Alice Rekab) a digital resident with Arcade Campfa, and have a trans* anti-work scifi story in issue 4 of the Berlin art journal Textur and a horror story / love letter to a videogame character in a new artist publication from Market Gallery Glasgow. I’ve also just finished a digital divination/poetry machine called “Surface of Scum” with Artist Sammy Paloma for Mayk, Bristol. I’m presently working on: a VR experience about treating monsters for depression with psilocybin in rural England for QUAD in Derby, an exhibition about unstable identity and love for Wysing, and (also with Sammy Paloma) a online project about holy wells, sickness, and divining your own reality.

Siegmar Zacharias is a performance artist, researcher, death doula, and student of plant medicine. She collaborates with humans and uncontrollable materials, such as smoke, slime, drool, the nervous system and death/dying/grief, dealing with questions of generative ethical dynamics of transformation like liquefaction, agency, embodied transformative justice, grief and grievance. Together with Steve Heather she is exploring binaural sound for deep listening and deep touch. She is interested in how grief works as forces of intimacy and alienation.

Steve Heather (AU-DE) is a freelance musician (drums, percussion, electronics) composer, performance and installation maker based in Berlin. Steve is interested in the repetitive acoustic territories of every day life informing his and others sonic agency. His research revolves around the physicality of sonic boundaries and how it informs compositional methodologies, materials and structures along with the listeners corporal reading thereof. Steve current music projects/bands include: Stiff Leather, The Still, Booklet, **Y**, Shelter and The Splitter Orchestra. Steve´s music is riddled with noise and rapture, sudden links, resonances, offered assistance and conflicts of interest.

Zeina Hanna (1983) is a Lebanese artist living in Berlin. She explores the boundaries of artistic research in the field of performing arts and her work focuses on the way poetics and policies intertwine in the context of making art today. Zeina leans toward collaborative works and the use of different media. She uses choreography as a tool for making and observing the intrinsic relations between form and content, playing with the dynamics between guided and generated attention.

With the kind support of Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa, Fonds für Ausstellungsvergütungen and the Bezirkskulturfonds and in cooperation with visitBerlin.