Zoja Smutny

Zoja Smutny works at the intersection of choreography, visual arts, music and writing. She joins us as one of our inaugural Resident Artists over the next two years to work on her concept album Rosé Porn. Her research towards a live performance in 2015-16 is founded in her curiosities around intimacy, presence, pop culture, the cinematic frame, critical theory, and shared practices.

Artist statement

‘In a world obsessed with making something “new” at all moments to sell in the art market, I am curious if we as artists can somehow create a space to work together in order to work alone, if we can share a space, an open mind, a heart and become curious about potential and not product, but about the possibility of comprehending what is already there in order to feed our own practice.

In a time where an artist is expected to have a higher education, know what is current internationally, know how to talk about their work, collaborate, dislocate, create, and make money, I’m questioning if positioning sharing as an example of a way of working and making in order to transgress our own individual practice is even possible?

How can we turn the encounter of sharing practices into a practice of its own?

How can we let go of authorship to find a new methodology for creating performance by sharing what we already do?

How can we work together in order to work alone?

My ability to enter and work within other disciplines using my skills and curiosities as a choreographer is what interests me now. How to enter another artist’s practice, and then create work based on that encounter. While these choreographed conversations are being formed I am constantly thinking about the audience, in what way does the work that is being created need an audience?

I am not actually so curious about creating something new, ground breaking, brilliant, I honestly don’t even know what those words mean. What I am interested in is working with what’s already there, what is actually present with the collaborators I have chosen to work with for each project, and being challenged by how to share it with the audience, to absolutely make sure they need to be there in order for the work to exist.’


Zoja Smutny recently completed her Masters, Solo/Dance/Authorship at UDK in Berlin. She spends her time making choreographies, performing, and teaching between Berlin, Toronto, and Montreal. Her work lives somewhere between the frames of live and cinematic performance. Smutny’s choreographed work deals with questions of captured time, real time and still time. Her main body of research involves a collaborative practice with Toronto visual artist Guntar Kravis. Smutny’s live and video work has been presented at international festivals in both Europe and Canada. Her dance video between time, which she also created with Kravis, screened at the Court Metrage at the 64th annual Festival des Cannes in 2011 and again in 2012 as part of a screening of fashion films curated by Portable.com in New York City. Most recently their new short film RECENT FUTURE has been presented at Gallery TPW in Toronto and at Mousonturm in Frankfurt. Her live solo and group work has been presented in Prague, Athens, Berlin, Vienna, Montreal, Halifax, Toronto, and Mexico. Currently she is working on a conceptual album entitled Rosé Porn, and a collaborative practice with four interdisciplinary artists called a Choreographed Conversation.

See Zoja in action:

In Touch – 1976 & Recent Future [January 22-24 @ 8pm]

Art Practice for All – Workshop with Zoja Smutny [January 24 @ 12pm-4pm]

2015-2016 Season Preview: Michel and Smutny In-Progress Showings [April 29-30, @ 8pm]