How To Love Many In Many Ways

2021/ A Collection of Games + Exercises

In collaboration with Gabriel Hensche, edited by Ismail Fayed,
visual identity by Engy Aly. 

Based on the assumption that one can intentionally perform falling in love (and subsequently fall out of love as well), artists Engy Mohsen and Gabriel Hensche invited others to develop a game or exercise to respond to the question: How to Love Many in Many Ways?

Nine contributors responded to that question with game + exercises ranging from the artistic, to the scientific, the somatic and the satirical; Eliana Otta, Eleonora TonioloIngo Niermann (The Army of Love), Mohamed Al-Bakeri, Petra Mrša, Philip UllrichRania Atef, Raúl Hott, Shahd Omar.

During her studio residency at Rote Fabrik, Engy organised various moments to play/test/encounter the games with others in Zürich, stemming from a belief that this question can only be addressed collectively.

The project is currently still in the works, with a few of games having been tested and played. The intention is to publish a beta version of all nine positions (games + exercises) online, to follow the logic of print/play at home.

The project started out during the Homebound Residency (2020) by Warehouse421 and continued further during the Pro Helvetia Studio Residency at Rote Fabrik (2021), and will be part of School of Commons (2022). Thanks to Maha Maamoun and Tara Lasrado who provided mentorship and guidance throughout both residencies. Photo credits: Clara Neugebauer. Video interview: Clara Neugebauer & Nicola Unfer for MAZ Luzern.

How to Love Many in Many Ways by Engy Mohsen and Gabriel Hensche. The titular game includes a set of questions paired with rituals that invite you to care for the self, connect with others, and be more attentive to more-than-humans in your surroundings.

Embodied Encounters by Shahd Omar. Exercises that playfully attempt to redefine consent as the process of establishing agreements, and how to communicate them beyond verbal exchanges.

Bad Mother by Rania Atef. A card game that critically —and most importantly satirically—scrutinizes the societal gaze for maternal love and domestic labor as well as the criterion of a ‘Good Mother’.

Take That Loving Grace by Philip Ullrich. One player acts as a ‘machine’, following predetermined instructions. The ‘human’ player is much more fickle, but if they do everything right, the machine will go down. Two opposites meet, the power balance is off—a reason to love?

Falling in Love with the World by Ingo Niermann (The Army of Love). An exercise that directs the group to overcome a said aversion and extend notions of love and care to others or objects.

Rehearsing Horizontalities by Eliana Otta. A set of exercises to create scenarios where players re-examine their relationship with others by playing with their spatial, choreographic and acoustic awareness, all while maintaining a ‘Horizontality Pact’.

Shivering Throats, Breaking Walls by Petra Mrša. A listenting exercise that plays on alternative notions of intimacy and encounter, ideas of presence and absence and unconventional modes of communication and exchange.

Total Body (Radiance) by Raúl Hott. An exercise that invites you to understand radiance, experiencing new ways of relating to affect, affection, and to interact with all living beings. This experience is also an invitation to re-connect with our planet.

The Things You Do for Love by Mohamed Al Bakeri. A board game that invites players to think of love as a material need and/or commodity, while navigating the world of online dating.

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