Listen to the Podcast: Kitchen Conversation with Szymon Adamczyk

Szymon Adamczak is a Polish artist, writer and dramaturg, working with theatre and performance in Amsterdam. Currently, he is preoccupied with fostering an artistic practice within the HIV/AIDS field and its cultural, artistic and social-political legacy of the past decades.

Being an HIV positive artist, Adamczak’s body of work focuses on fighting various stigmas connected with HIV/AIDS that differ depending on the country and its history. By means of various interventions, be it independent artistic work, collective initiatives or social campaigns, Adamczak works on bringing HIV/AIDS back to the public discourse, underlining that the ‘AIDS crisis’ of which we heard in the 80’s and 90’s is not over yet, it just took a more dispersed and therefore less visible form.

During our Kitchen Conversations, we mainly spoke about Adamczak’s performance piece ‘An Ongoing Song’ – a metaphoric story of getting acquainted with the virus – a new entity that suddenly enters your body and will permanently become part of who you are. Through the reiteration and reinvestment of inherited performative gestures, Adamczak together with his performance partner Billy Mullaney juggle the complexities of human relationships: risk-taking, danger, desire, vulnerability, self-infliction, dependency, loss of innocence, morbid humor and affection.

In addition to his performance, we also discussed Adamczak’s new artistic research platform that he conducted as part of his residency in Biennale Warszawa. It is called Polskie EIDS, and it aims to deepen the cultural reception of issues related to HIV and AIDS in Poland.

Insta: s_a_damczak

An Ongoing Song, photo by Maciej Zakrzewski

An Ongoing Song, photo by Maciej Zakrzewski

Links: (this episode consists of two parts, below you can find the links to part 1)

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edited by Alec Zajac

An Ongoing Song_Post performance conversation workshop, Praha, photo by Michaela Skvrnakova

An Ongoing Song_Post performance conversation workshop, Praha, photo by Michaela Skvrnakova

For us, the kitchen is not just where we cook, it’s a dining room, a guest room, an office, a soapbox. A space for group therapy sessions […] It’s where ideas were whipped up from scratch, fantastical projects concocted.”

Svetlana Alexievich, ‘Secondhand Time – The Last of the Soviets’

In the Western education system, the Eastern European narratives are often neglected or highly underrepresented. The podcast series Kitchen Conversations provides a platform for artists and researchers to share their interest in the post-Soviet part of the world. Through art to politics, the podcast invites the listener to explore and learn about the often stigmatised Eastern Bloc.

The Arsenal Gallery, exhibition, photo by Tomasz Pawłowski

The Arsenal Gallery, exhibition, photo by Tomasz Pawłowski

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About The Author


Artist and writer. Studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Critical Studies Department at the Sandberg Institute. Her ongoing research relates the post-Soviet countries. In 2020, she launched a podcast series called ‘Kitchen Conversations.’

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