Emilia Kurylowicz, R&D, photo by Iga Drobisz
review

Portfolio: Emilia Kurylowicz Their practice combines video, sound, performance and text.

Emilia Kurylowicz, photo by Joanna Chwilkowska
Emilia Kurylowicz, photo by Joanna Chwilkowska

Emilia Kurylowicz b. 1983 in Warsaw, living in Berlin. They graduated from Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz and are currently studying at Dutch Art Institute. Their practice combines video, sound, performance and text. Drawing from their past life as a music video director, their work references pop culture, pop music and TV tropes using these elements to create a discourse around current political and social issues. By means of songwriting, provocative humor, visual paraphrasing and creating alter egos, she touches upon a variety of themes such as feminism, technology, environmentalism, sexuality and critique of the neoliberal ideology.

They are also a transdisciplinary radio maker, music producer under the moniker aemlx and organizer, involved in various cultural and social initiatives.

Their works were presented at KIM? Riga, Transmediale Vorspiel, GEGENWARTEN | PRESENCES, Chemnitz, Martin Gropius Bau, Museum of Transitory Art, Ljubljana, Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, HVW8, Berlin; they performed at Kantine am Berghain, Otel Kyiv, ACUD, L’International, Cashmere Radio et al.

Emilia Kurylowicz, R&D, photo by Iga Drobisz
R&D, (E. Kurylowicz, M.Mushtrieva), Semi-Famous, photo by Iga Drobisz
Emilia Kurylowicz, R&D, Front Cover
R&D, (E. Kurylowicz, M.Mushtrieva), album cover front
Emilia Kurylowicz, R&D, Back Cover
R&D, (E. Kurylowicz, M.Mushtrieva), Semi-Famous album cover back
Emilia Kurylowicz, R&D, photo by Iga Drobisz
R&D, (E. Kurylowicz, M.Mushtrieva), photo by Iga Drobisz

R&D
“SEMI-FAMOUS”
2018- onwards

Surfing the blurry border between pop and art performance, R&D has fun mixing field recordings, eclectic sounds, and explicit lyrics that should be taken with a grain of salt. The duo was formed in 2018 by Emilia Kurylowicz, an artist and a filmmaker from Poland and Maru Mushtrieva, a writer from Russia.

The need to express their ongoing research in a performative way brought them to the idea of a conceptual band. R&D researches stereotypes and patterns that are found in their immediate environment, both real and virtual and every album will be dedicated to a specific contemporary struggle. An ever-evolving concept, the band’s name stays open to interpretation for the audience and changes from album to album and from person to person. The title of their EP SEMI-FAMOUS was inspired by an overheard conversation in which someones lover was labelled as “a semi-famous Mexican socialite Based in Buenos Aires”, which immediately revealed a mesh of tensions and hidden agendas. The album follows up the adventures in post-love city, where the desire to be closer is interrupted by imaginary and real obstacles – the story of emotional rollercoaster of the mysterious socialite and her entourage. Using this character as a point of reference they explore in a playful manner issues such as gender roles, mental health issues and paradoxes of modern lifestyles.

The “Semi-Famous” EP is followed by another iteration of R&D, the webseries titled “The Semi-Show”, a temporary replacement of a live performance and an alternative approach to a music video. The show moves through virtual imaginary inviting the audience to submit eyewitness reportages, masterclasses and games. All this is framed by a panel discussion between the hosts,

R&D, and their semi-experts: Nadja Buttendorf, Jana Barthel, Cibelle Cavalli Bastos, as well as other guests: Alexandra Zakharenko a.k.a. perila/aseptic stir, a music producer and performer who founder of WET platform, Esben Holk of Omsk Social Club who also runs Jennifer Aniston Superfans platform and Goddess Vanessa, a pro domme. R&D discusses affective hierarchies and naked politics: semi-sexual, semi-local, semi-interactive, semi-expertise. Half-way interrupted formats follow one another. In a Sisyphus-like ascension to a destination unknown what is it to realise that you are half-way through? A presence of the mountain top? How to measure the middle? Is it ex-centric or intro-centric, explosive or implosive? A playful exploration of attention deficit.

Emilia Kurylowicz, The Semi-Show, EP.8, TheSemi-Highlight
R&D (E. Kurylowicz, M.Mushtrieva), The Semi-Show
Emilia Kurylowicz, The Semi-Show
R&D (E. Kurylowicz, M.Mushtrieva), The Semi-Show

Emilia Kurylowicz, Dominature
E. Kurylowicz, K. Tymiński, DOMINATURE

DOMINATURE
2021

“DOMINATURE” is a collaboration between artists Emilia Kurylowicz and Karol Tymiński, created for theplatform dedicated to vocal dance – From Breath to Matter. The piece was developed as means of communitybuilding practice exercised through online interaction. Its form utilises elements of karaoke however it is alsobased on improvisation and invites to collaboration. It is framed as a type of a game show, in which the hosts(played by the artists) invite the audience to take part in a singing practice. Videos with rolling credits (similarto karaoke booth videos) are shared via zoom call. The participants are encouraged to interpret them in anydesired style and to create a composition comprising of five voices (three delivering the lyrics and vocalisationsof the two hosts – the soundtrack).

Confronted with the limitations and mediocrity of an online performance, it was crucial for the artists to create a situation of embodiment and immersion through a digital interface. The goal was to address the matters of togetherness, as well as vulnerability and playfulness. With elements of BDSM aesthetic and rhetoric, guided by the lyrical content inspired by accompanying videos, the spectators and participants are encouraged to explore shifting from the perspective of a human observer, to acknowledging the agency and emotional capacity of non-human entities.

The songs can be re-interpreted in multiple versions, depending on the potential participants and their visionor feeling. The piece can be performed in both, digital and physical spaces, however within the platform dedi-cated to somatic practices, it was crucial to activate the audience and give them the possibility of co-creatingthe piece.

LINK: https://vimeo.com/531497776/4abe86aaee

Emilia Kurylowicz, Dominature
E. Kurylowicz, K. Tymiński, DOMINATURE

Emilia Kurylowicz, TRF
TENDERRIPPLEFLUX radio show, image credit: Barbaros Kisakol

TENDERRIPPLEFLUX
2021 – onwards

TENDERRIPPLEFLUX is a stimulating soundplatform designed to weave realms of the erotic in it’s multiple forms. Featured contributors of all niche fields tell intimate stories, plugin soundscapes and incantations, and experiment with spoken word and sonic experience. Understanding the erotic as a critical mode through which we may attain excellence, the audio pieces travel through the spectrums: soft + hard, mundane + otherworldly, silly + political; A reminder the erotic is a powerful tool for subversion and cross-imagination. Suspended somewhere between ecstatic and awkward is where each fantastical episode journeys.

Emilia Kurylowicz, TRF
TENDERRIPPLEFLUX radio show, image credit: Barbaros Kisakol

Emilia Kurylowicz, Robotron, 2020
#robotron003 for GEGENWARTEN | PRESENCES 2020, art: Nadja Buttendorf, sound: lil witch global (aka Emilia Kurylowicz)

ROBOTRON
2020

robotron003 is an album co-produced by Lil Witch Global with an East-German rapper Futuremaps030 and beachboygirl. It was created to accompany the site-specific installation at GEGENWARTEN | PRESENCES 2020 a public art exhibition in Chemnitz. The project was a continuation of the tech-opera webseries by artist Nadja Buttendorf about a GDR computer company More than 4000 printed matchboxes with links to the album, as well as to the music videos, were distributed in Chemnitz and other places, It is the first album ever made in the genre of GDR Trap. All participating artists, who were born in the 1980s and come from a communist background, not only dealt with the history of the Robotron company, but also with the similarities in their education and the history of rap music in the Eastern Bloc.

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