Cuddle Party first occurred in New York on February 29, 2004 and soon became a phenomenon not only in New York, but also around many large Western cities. Some of the cuddle party therapists are describing the character of this method as a direct response to extreme individualism in contemporary neoliberal society and the lack of contact within it. The workshop will invite the school participants to a subjective experience of an improvisational Cuddle Party. The main focus will be on observation and tracking of their own thoughts and feelings, and a subsequent discussion and analysis of the limits of therapeutic discourse in relation to the so called „anxious society“. We will critically assess whether therapeutic discourse can be a legitimate form of dealing with current (political and social) crises. By participating in this workshop, the attendants agree to follow the Cuddle Party setup. Cuddle party is a strictly non-sexual event.
Barbora Kleinhamplová is an artist living and working in Prague. Kleinhamplová’s work is rooted in the relationship of human existence and the contemporary politics and economy of institutions. She comments on different layers of society, using associations and metaphors. For recent past, it has been her overarching aim to pose questions as: What is a society? How it works, what are its constitutive elements? What are its illnesses, its emotions, its future or a situation of an individual in the middle of it? Recently she has been taking advantage of a strategy what we might call constructed or staged situation where the script is often derived from an existing format of group interaction (therapy, coaching session etc.). Performative dimension of some of her projects try to accent the symbolic role of the body politics in the economic and power system. Kleinhamplová’s work has been exhibited widely in the Czech Republic as well as internationally – including SAVVY Contemporary, KIBLA Portal, Paul Ramsay Galleries, Triennial of Contemporary Art U3, Gwangju Biennale, New Museum, Astrup Farnley Museet, Jakarta Biennale.