Patrycja Orzechowska KINDERTURNEN
ALTERNATIVE CHILDREN'S GYMNASTICS.A COLLECTION OF EXERCISES IN 101 SCENES AND 19 CHAPTERS - art book
Publishers: JAMI Issue, Gdanska Galeria Miejska (GGM)
Editing: Patrycja Orzechowska
Collages: Patrycja Orzechowska
Texts: Małgorzata Cackowska, Anka Herbut, Kamila Wielebska, Bartek Zdunek
Graphic design and typesetting: Patrycja Orzechowska
Edition: 300 copies
Price: 66 PLN
KINDERTURNEN is a series ofcollages 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 was published under the same title – KINDERTURNEN in 1955 in East Germany, then translated into Polish. The authors of the book are Margot and Urszula Kriesel.
Theitemisrichlyillustratedwithphotographsshowingexamplesofexercisesforpreschoolers.Onthephotographstakenatanorphanagewecanseechildren'sagilebodiesperformingsequencesofexercisesfromsectionsonstrengtheningfeet,torso,andtheexercisesforagility,dexterity,courageandbalance.Sowehaveexercisesaimedat,astheauthorsmentionintheintroduction,upbringingchildrenascomprehensivelydeveloped,healthy,braveandresponsibleindividuals.Instructionsforexercisesbothwith and without equipment ormovement games have been compiled on opposing pictures, representing correct and incorrect performance of thetasks.It was thesetasks'witherror' that inspired the artist tocreate 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 also 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. The book is both a metaphorical instruction with exercises for children and a critical commentary of this peculiar practice with the figure of a child as a model of an individual in a micro scale. It includes a range of themes from the training of the body and taking control over it, to using compulsory order as symbolic violence. These problems seem to be still valid today, as order is a cause of many concerns: discipline and coercion loom in the dictatorship of order, and chaos has become a more natural and less suspicious form. KINDERTURNEN also deals with afterlife, where other orders function, where well-behaved children with falling halos 'create' hell for the others and their reflections are absorbed by black mirrors. In this world, all children are old, reproduce in the process of budding, swarming like bees, sticking to various figures. Their uniforms pulsate rapidly.
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.