Monika Gabriela Dorniak (*1988) is a German-Polish interdisciplinary artist with a background in choreography, psychology and fashion design, who often merges media – specifically performance, (textile) sculpture, workshop, intervention, video, photography, drawing. In her multimedia practice she is exploring the structures of the Self through a multifaceted analysis of body, mind and environment, by taking into consideration the regressive history of the domination of nature and social power structures. Her upbringing in an artisanal and agricultural family influenced her practice, as did her German, Polish and Belarusian-Ukrainian roots, marked by the trauma of sociopolitical events. Her long-term practice-based research focus lays on animism, (inherited) trauma, psychosomatics, solastalgia, agency and alienation, and is combined with biographical examinations. The ongoing collaboration with dancers underlines her explorations, and large parts of her work are the product of an extensive interactive process. Her research on migration and belonging is carried forward through her ongoing conversations and projects with marginalised groups. Since 2012 she has initiated various interventions connecting people from the disciplines art, science, philosophy and psychology, under the name of We Convert Our Mind To Creativity, and organised workshops and choreographed performances that were presented in a variety of international institutions, such as Tate Exchange in Tate Modern London, Foreign Affairs Festival at Berliner Festspiele and Arts Catalyst in London. Her work has been exhibited and performed internationally. She has been invited as a guest lecturer from Al-Quds Bard College in Palestine, Chelsea College in London, Garage Museum in Moscow, and other notable institutions/initiatives. Dorniak holds a Master Degree in Art and Science (Department Fine Art) from the University of Arts in London, Central Saint Martins (2017).
Artistic and choreographical commissions include Marc Quinn’s Our Blood (2018-ongoing), Uma Termas for Oyster Magazine (2018), Baserange (2017), Rory Pilgrim (2014/2015). As performer she has appeared in Luisa Ungar’s A Regurgitation is a Song is a Spell (Consultations to recreate the colonial disease) at Liverpool Biennal (2021), Aernout Mik’s Speaking in Tongues at HKW in Berlin (2013), Pauline Oliveros Study Group at Café Oto in London (2017), Matthew Herbert’s Brexit Big Band at Wassermusik Festival at HKW in Berlin, Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and Auditorium Parca della Musica in Rome (2018-2019), Matana Robert’s Coin, Coin at HKW Berlin (2018), Antje Majewski’s Rausch (2008), and Robert Whitman’s Side Effects in collaboration w/ Arts Catalyst in London (2016).
2015-2017 MA Art and Science / Central Saint Martins / UAL / London / UK
2014-2015 BA Dance/Choreography / HZT / University of Arts Berlin / Germany
2011-2013 BA Psychology / Universität Trier / Germany
2008-2010 BA Fashion Design / University of Westminster / London / UK
Baserange (2021) w/ Umuco Podcast
The Ekru Project (2019) w/ Veronica Horwell
Metal Magazine (2017)
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Virtual studio visit for Art Apart gallery (2021)
Lecture by Monika Dorniak on her sociopolitical projects and research on trauma as part of Experiencing The Museum, Garage Museum in Moscow (06th of December 2019)
All images and texts © 2009-2021 Monika Gabriela Dorniak.
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