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Alterity Within




Touching: The Alterity Within explores the idea of touch through live performance in combination with augmented, virtual reality and in terms of being together. As the bodies on and beyond the stage become entangled, they use their physical, mental and sensory skills, as technologies to connect, creating a hybrid hyper-organism that operates in the only reality there is – constant transition. In the pursuit of a more capacious we, the piece blurs the boundaries between self and other, outside and within, technology and nature gesturing towards other, queer, trans-realities where everything is touching. The title of the work inspired by Karen Barad’s lecture On Touching: The Alterity Within, embodied with their permission.

The stage version of the piece takes 55 min in one cycle. The work is choreographed with the possibility of creating a loop with the performers
exchanging roles, creating a durational format up to three cycles of 55 min. The specific parts of the work both choreographic scenes and
technological elements come together to create one hyperorganism but can be performed separately

Choreography Rafał Pierzyński
Performance Rafał Pierzyński & Mira Rojzman
Sound Simon Grab
Light and Phones Andri Schatz
Projected VR ArchLevel
Dramaturgy Kathrin Veser & Marc Streit
Drone performance Joachim Korus
Costume Martyna Kołtun & Yana Slattery

With the voice of Karen Barad reading from Meeting The Universe Halfway.
With the sculpture Lavender Spell by Christopher Fülleman
Costume Advice Dopamina Rebis FX
Video Nora Smith
Pictures Olivia Schenker

In co-production with Tanzhaus Zürich supported by:
Stadt Zürich Kultur, Stiftung Anne-Marie Schindler, Ernst Göhner Stiftung, MIGROS Kulturprozent, Foundation Nestlé pour l’Art, Fonds culturel de la Société Suisse.

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in time



40 min.

The performance was created for the Estrangement Sessions at dis-order exhibition @MIKRO off space and presented within Zürich Art Weekend 2020 context.

‘Touching: In time’ reimagines ecology based on the expanded idea of touching and being in touch. The performance is an affirmation of more careful ways of living with each other and the environment. It shines the light on the abilities of the bodymind to connect, presenting them as powerful technologies for healing, growth and reparation. What is touching in crisis? What kind of stories we tell and intimacies do we embody if the future is now?

performance: Rafał Pierzyński, Jazmin Taco
sound: Marcel Babazadeh / Atelier Klang und Raum
masks: Nagi Gianni
photos: Uwe Westermann

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In April 2020 Rafał Pierzyński was an artist in residency at KULTURFOLGER Zürich. His research and artistic practice, movement and choreography, expand ideas of touching and being in touch.


His residing in Kulturfolger materialized itself in an essay - Queer times,

as well as a recorded performance.


work in progress

How to touch when the social distance is establishing itself as a paradigm? How’s touching in crisis?

During Pierzyński's residency, the public, off space of Kulturfolger became a private space of touch. A party, but only for one. Following his research, in a  34-minute video-choreography of multiple cameras, Rafał Pierzyński explores the alterity within (inspired by Karen Barad) from different points of view, touching, differentiating own parts from one another. It is a ceremony of touch. Pierzynski’s phasing, circular journey reveals the potential of the choreography to speak beyond the dimensions bounded by time and space, proposing a reality of hyperobjects (after Timothy Morton) where we are all interconnected entities. Celebrating the difficult, queer moment, he is looking at the potential of the unseen, and the space between us, the tension between our backgrounds and foregrounds. In his reflection of the lockdown, like in a ritual, he embodies the idea of reorienting (Sara Ahmed). After being alone in the vertigo of images, multiplicities, voices, sounds, collages, coexisting digitally skin to skin, we leave the party with the question: ‘how can we live together?’ It is our coded ceremony, the only possible one at this moment.

Touching - queer times

“This is a queer moment, the experience of the other, oblique reality, in the temporary shift of perspective: disorienting, fragile, collective, touching in the absence of touch, its notouch.

Reality, as we know it is humiliated once again, and it’s over –  evoking the chance to become something else. Queer moments bring revolution. Revolutionary listening, non-doing, non-speaking, non-touching, non-coming.   We are still able to taste the past and we've already licked the future  - we are in the only reality there is - that very transition. This year you can quit being straight. Losing the form in the unknown. Cruising, dissolving and loving in darkness. Reorienting. (...) ”


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The performance was created for Backslash Festival 2019 and Gessnerallee Zurich.

There is no chance for a fresh start  – lots need to be undone. 
We are with what our skin knows and we trust it.

The treatment-performance insists on the bodymind connection and affirms the ability to extend ourselves and connect through different modes of touching. It's meant to highlight the importance of the experience of more careful living in touch with ourselves, each other and the environment. It also functions as an invitation to use the spacetime that technology provides us to strengthen and develop our bodily and sensory skills, as well as to further investigate the nature of the collective, embodied, situated consciousness that we are.

We are cyborgs and we are together. Dissolving, carefully downloading and uploading.

The person receiving the treatment lays on the table with eyes covered, wearing earphones.


performance: Rafał Pierzyński, Agata Grabowska
sound: Marcel Babazadeh / Atelier Klang und Raum
masks: Nagi Gianni
photos: Caroline Palla / Lea Huser






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“Protect your heart at all costs.” (Abra – “No Chill”)


When going through darkness we need to care more, we need to keep in touch. In times of having, we keep on learning that loss is inevitable – we were never meant to last. Eating our own trash, now we need to learn about giving and taking with more care.




choreography: Rafał Pierzynski 

performing: Rafał Pierzynski, Agata Grabowska
music collage: (with technical support of Justyna Stasiowska)
technical realization: Łukasz Kedzierski 

artistic coaching: Dalija Acin Thelander 

production Art Stations Foundation by Grazyna Kulczyk 

in the frame of Solo Projekt Plus 2019 

premiere 19.10.2019 Studio Słodownia +3, Stary Browar, Poznan


photos: K PICTURES dla Art Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk





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POMADA Queer Festival Warsaw


Performance of Rafał Pierzyński and Ryszard Kisiel,  Pomada 'EDEN' 2018

Queer Archive of artifacts and memories from Ryszard Kisiel part of creating Polish queer history 80's relived together with performance practice of Rafał Pierzyński. Bringing together generations, reinforcing Polish queer art and community.


Performance of Rafał Pierzyński, Pomada 'Heritage' 2017

Radio Pomada by Maria Kozłowska, Robert Wasiewicz and Rysia with the live storytelling, poetry, love letters from the queer polish history together with listeners feedback and live performance of Rafał Pierzyński.


check fundriser video for Pomada 2018 with my performance from 2017


Pomada on fb: Pomada Festival





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Rafał Pierzyński
Resident of message salon embassy
November 12th, 2017 to January 28th, 2018
Zine #9 – Edition of 150 Copies

Madame l’Ambassadeur Esther Eppstein
message salon embassy Zürich Nord
Baugenossenschaft mehr als wohnen

©2018 Rafał Pierzyński & Divas & message salon


For 3 months Rafał had an opportunity to be a part of a community of Hunziker Areal, in Oerlikon, Zurich where he lived and had his own studio working on performances with DIVAS and his collage works. The residency ends with a Zine release.


see the pdf. version of the zine here







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DIVAS is a performer's collective set up by Aga Pędziwiatr and Rafał Pierzyński in 2016


for more about DIVAS works look here





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TAKE OFF, 2014


Take-off is a solo improvisation score where dance appears through negotiation with my own body. I'm exploring the 'movement potential' and the 'movement to be' changing the direction before arriving, moving the future. Sometimes unexpected connections make you continue your path unusually. Before you formulate a thought there is still time for a shift. Where observer's mind finds the potential, images 'may' shortly appear. Embodied Communication.





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Another Level, 2013


“Another Level” is a look at the dance performance as a dynamic process occurring in between the performers. On stage, individuals are working out a way to be together in one space. We observe possible developments inside of the process when there is no option ‘to leave’.  Falling through another levels we begin to interpret their surroundings differently.


It’s a look at another level of limitation. When one sees difficulties in every restriction, another can see opportunities in every difficulty. Working with the topic of restrictions, the performers create a dance full of possibilities. Group improvisations and discussions, as well as personal discoveries of the eight dancers, young choreographer and music composer meet in a dance performance.


Performace with the students of Institute of Dance Arts (IDA) at Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität Linz, AT realized with the support of Föredrungsstypendium A.B.P.U. and Cie. Off Verticality


Choreography: Rafał Pierzyński (Poland)

Music : Dominik Harrer (Austria)

Dance and choreography: Paweł Hawryluk (Poland) Neža Hribar (Slovenia) Michaela Hulvejová (Slovakia) Matej Kubus (Slovakia) Martyna Lorenc (Poland) Leon Marič (Slovenia) Agnieszka Pędziwiatr (Poland) Solaja Rechlin (Germany)


video trailer here




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