sinews: holding our sh*t together

Tereza Silon and Kathryn Fischer aka Mad Kate





photos by Peter Kolárčik

Photos by Kathryn Fischer


16 December 2023 – 13 January 2024 at Neurotitan Gallery – Berlin – Germany – curator: Viviana Druga URBAN WITCHES not BITCHES: Beast from the East

19 October 2023 – 7 December 2023 at Galerie 35m2 – Prague – Czechia – curator: Anežka Januschka Kořínková


sinews: holding our sh*t together   

tereza silon and kathryn fischer

if we roll this ball long enough will all the shit transmute to gold? and do we want it or do we just humbly and nobly accept the shit? we are not like scarabs making something so precious we would then have to roll it in front of us till the end of times, but if we want to we could. only – our shit is beautiful – at least to each other. we say it like that. but maybe all shit is beautiful once it is shaped a bit and acknowledged as a part of a truly complex and spectral existence, as a part of human experience that is both metaphysical, expansive and simultaneously falling hard onto the lines of the eco-socio-political matrices. it is not that i burn so much incense i cannot smell its stench. but this shit is quite pure. confusing in beautiful ways, contradictory as in holding generative tensions, but not exclusive. this is why we have such strong sinews. sinews, to hold it. we are the sinews and sinuous – as in not straight. although the way we are together is often quite straight forward.

what are the conditions for audibility? sometimes we put our heads on pillows. we edge adjacent to sleep. sometimes we bend our bodies in stretching shapes, faces close to the ground, or smelling  our skin, close our eyes and lean into the ear. sometimes we are in motion, sight soft focused, an active listening while walking, cycling. these are conditions where my attention shifts to the auditory and i finally listen. 

it is mostly in headphones that i hear your voice. your voice a flame in an infinite darkness. when i feel undone and un-whole your voice is flickering at my inner ear, there where i am most vulnerable. node becomes guide, transcending distance. 

your words like so often flutter around me, haptic. an occasional car and birds outside of the open window. the soundscape implies a non-dual nature of the outside and inside (of the window) and presences and absences that too are not an opposite of one another, intimacy of it all. non-dual and perhaps non-binary. i often miss you but not like i miss other people. yes, a coffee in the same neighbourhood more often would be nice, more touch and embraces would be nice, but it is rare that you would not feel present in my life.

in these porous spaces there is a certain silence emerging from our folded bodies as we listen, as we create proximity. it is the deep listening kind which engenders trust, through which one feels heard, with which one can finally also speak. one speaks because one feels audible. then we can be reflected, challenged, validated, processed. an offering of how we, how i,  could see differently. you ask me, could i shift my perspective? 

and now what’s that strange sound in my throat? i am speaking with the trust of being heard.  

i do not have to deal with your ghosts so much because i can deal with you as a whole human – the ghosts included. i ask you questions because you told me when i asked you what questions are inappropriate that i can ask you anything – hard questions too – and that you will try to answer. this is a game we play. we dare. it could be edgy but it is mostly edgy because i get to feel what i was told to disown. it is edgy but not so sharp. and sometimes we also speak just to share the small uneventful annoyances and joys and pleasures of the everyday. i am aware how dumb some things can sound but you give them space anyways, because you trust my sense-making apparatus. i say them anyways and then something transforms. so many very important moments passed between us as uneventful – but not unnoticed. 

as an equal, sometimes you remind me i too can be held. and that to hold one another in general is a deep and sensuous desire of mine with people who also know (how to carry) their own weight intimately – figuratively and literally. something that grew more and more complex despite me getting more and more skilled in it as i grow older.

we use our collective skin body to hold ourselves together–together together. together despite the individualization of the i that is more than the i can handle. we use our voices to hold our mourning–and our joy. as nodes of trust for each other. as diversified relata, away from the ease of the most proximate warm body. (no one person can hold everything and certainly not only the adjacent her/him/them). that is terrifying–no–its new, always new.  si-new. sí, sí, sí. new. this multitude of nodes holding me, holding them. we hold that. 

i can easily speak of love, my love for you, the love we share, the love we feel for the world and other parts of our network and the pain and frustration and fear and misunderstandings too. there is no denial in it and nothing constructed. you – both in singular and plural. in one body and many. things i have not dreamt possible just a couple of years ago, because it is only understood experientially, over time. it takes time to slowly re-learn to trust and you might have had to watch me wail gutteraly once or twice or thrice. it is experiential, but not ossified the way old friendships might get. we change all the time. but at the same time it is hard to speak (of it), to utter, because it does not belong to neat categories. we use the words we know and we carve them into new shapes. yes it is a very queer experience but at the same time a deeply familiar one, a deeply human one. and yet sometimes all this intimacy feels so alien(ating) in the world that is communicating so much but where sometimes so little gets to be truly cherished. 

you need a familial (or a few, always). a dedication sealed with ´i am still here and staying´ in a world where so many relationships are transactional and based on disposability and yet it is a world which can be very very pained and yet on whose goodness we do not want to ever give up.

we draw thin curtains around our cochlea, around our inner home, our listening home. the thin skin body we call home. this tough yet porous framing  is what we need–or perhaps merely what we have–to hold our space. an imperfect circle we have drawn around our bodies. our bodies are laid bare, vulnerable, splayed in every direction, pulled apart but stretching–stretching because we are holding each other, all of us relata. sinews holding each other in fragile tension. 

but even if the world is held together by the tension, it may be the opposite, some sort of softness and not the tension that undoes us in the end. the suspended undulating timelessness of someone´s very simple presence.

acceptance of discomfort is sometimes the most radical thing and we are both good at it and absolutely useless with it. we still fight. i wish there was time in this capitalist strata to have all THIS with many others, too. the invitation into this for a moment is something to start with.


Curatorial Text by Anežka Januschka Kořínková from Galerie 35m2

Výstavní projekt Sinews: holding our sh*t together Mad Kate a Terezy Silon je druhým příspěvkem ke konceptu radikálního štěstí, který se tentokrát na rozdíl od projektu Rotující štěstí zaměřeného na individualizované hledání štěstí a jeho prožívání obrací k našim vzájemným mezilidským interakcím a jejich kultivaci. Teprve porozuměním a upevňováním našich vzájemných vazeb a vztahů s okolím můžeme dosáhnout určité změny ve společnosti, která bude mít v důsledku vliv na vytvoření lepších životních podmínek pro všechny.

Prostor Galerie 35M2 je prostřednictvím poloprůhledných textilií, dodávajících pocit bezpečí a intimity, přetvořen v místo určené k učení se naslouchání, sdílení a budování blízkosti. K tomuto procesu učení dochází skrze poslech zvukových nahrávek, které vznikaly v průběhu let jako součást osobní korespondence mezi Kate a Terezou sdílející intimní momenty z jejich života ústící v rozhovory komentující společenská témata jako různé modely vztahů, zdraví, nemoc, stárnutí, sexualitu, gender, potlačující a mocenské struktury a mnoho dalších. Vzájemným nasloucháním jedna/jeden druhé/druhému se spolu s námi učí jak být empatičtí vůči odlišné životní zkušenosti druhých a nepřestávat snít či dokonce bojovat za alternativní (možná utopické) prostory budoucnosti. Osobní je politické.

The exhibition project Sinews: holding our sh*t together by Kathryn Fischer and Tereza Silon is the second contribution to the concept of radical happiness, which – as opposed to the Rotating Happiness project that focused on the individualized search for happiness – examines our own interpersonal interactions and their cultivation.

Through the use of textiles, giving a sense of safety and intimacy, the space of Gallery 35M2 is transformed into a place that encourages listening, sharing, and building closeness. The rooms are filled with echoes of the sound recordings – an excerpts of a personal correspondence between Kathryn and Tereza – made over the course of several years. They share (with each other and now with us) intimate moments from their lives, often resulting in commentary about  social issues such as various models of relationships, health, illness, aging, sexuality, gender, oppressive structures and power structures and many more. As simple an act as recording an audio track, allows them to practice and strengthen their friendship through listening and learning about the experiences of others.

It is only through understanding and strengthening of our interconnections and relationships with our environment that we can bring about any societal change that will ultimately result in an improvement of the affective micro-politics. The personal is political.

t𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒛𝒂 s𝒊𝒍𝒐𝒏 (ona/she/they/none&all) is an interdisciplinary artist working mostly as a performer, dancer, occasional facilitator, bodyworker, poet, writer and experimental herbalist with a foundation in clinical naturopathy and a deep interest in reframing healing as less weighed down and discriminatory happening(s). in the long term, they work with embodiment and physicality, feminist queer perspectives, socialnatural ecologies, collective body/ies and a desire to open spaces for generative intimacy/ies despite extractive systems we are forced to inhabit. after years spent working with and in collective settings, tereza is currently working on her first authorial performance with a team and continues as a collaborator with individual artists offering reflective dialogue and mutual learning and practical enhancement of the magic and as a guest in collectives and aligned institutions interested in nuanced conversations. reclaiming the old interest in voicework and bdsm/kink and the non-denominational awe combined with the research of the human, the vegetal and beyond, new pathways for expression are currently taking shape. she has worked with and has been hosted by display, ini prostor, studio alta, can serrat (esp), ways house (hu), outsideininsideout (de, cz), buchapotheke at grüntaler9 (de), y:events series/divadlo x10, kafkárna, the institute of anxiety, plato and others. in the past year she worked with kathryn fischer, marie čtveráčková, sofia rubinstein, victor and lucie králíková, centering both the queer and the folkloric approaches and grassroot origins and craving for more ´useless´ beauty and sensuousness, aware of clichés and some pitfalls, too. their ultimate desire at the moment is the possibility to play in generative ways – for all