KINDERTURNEN is a series of collages by Patrycja Orzechowska based on materials coming from the found manual Children’s Gymnastics: A Collection of Photographs Illustrating the Use of Exercise Equipment in Kindergartens. The book of Margot and Urszula Kriesel was published under the same title – KINDERTURNEN in 1955 in East Germany. The item is richly illustrated with photographs showing examples of exercises for preschoolers. On the photographs taken at an orphanage we can see children’s agile bodies performing sequences of exercises from sections on strengthening feet, torso, and the exercises for agility, dexterity, courage and balance. So we have exercises aimed at upbringing children as comprehensively developed, healthy, brave and responsible individuals. Instructions for exercises both with and without equipment or movement games have been compiled on opposing pictures, representing correct and incorrect performance of the tasks. It was these tasks ‘with error’ that inspired the artist to create her own, alternative choreography of children’s bodies, where their systems create more disturbing physical and mental structures. This gentle ‘training’ is used, on the one hand, in order to search for order and harmony, and on the other hand, to ask a question about innocence of childhood games.
KINDERTURNEN is an art book – an alternative manual with exercises for children as well as the author’s statement, engaging in a discussion about the methods of modern education. It includes a range of themes from the training of the body and taking control over it, to using compulsory order as symbolic violence.
All the exercises in 19 chapters of the book are hidden behind the following names: Letters, Skeletons, Black Holes, Monstrances, Ornaments, Breathing Exercises, Underground, Remains… The illustrations are accompanied by texts by Małgorzata Cackowska, Anka Herbut, Kamila Wielebska and Bartek Zdunek. The print is a trilingual (Polish-English-German) and was co-financed with grants from the budget of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Patrycja Orzechowska – visual artist, author of art books, specializes in photography, collages, installation, graphic design, film and art in public space; graduate of the Department of Painting and Graphics, at the Gdansk Academy of Fine Arts. She lives and works in Gdansk. She treats her work as a field of experiment and experience, therefore, apart from drawing inspiration from the study of psychology or sociology, she eagerly reaches for risky practices and methods such as constellations or astrology in order to use them to create an alternative theatrical or supposed image of reality, which is seen from a new point of view.

Anka Herbut – dramaturg, curator, art & theatre critic. In her work she strive for connecting a the theoretical and methodological approach with the artistic practice. A member of the interdisciplinary artistic formation Identity Problem Group [IP Group] based in Wroclaw. The main areas of her research are the politics of identity, dramaturgy of the body and performatics. Collaborates with the following periodicals: “Dwutygodnik”, “Didaskalia theatre magazine”, “Notatnik Teatralny”, “Chimera”, “Monogram” and “BIURO”. The winner of Krzysztof Mętrak Award for young film critics (Grand Prix, 2015)