Katja is a collaborative artist, researcher and teacher, and her work includes performance, installation, documentation and writing, and it engages with memory and contemporary performance, remembering/mis-remembering as a form of creative spectatorship; constraint as artistic stimulus, site-responsive performance and ideas surrounding maintenance, care and enchantment. Further details can be found on her website.
Katja has degrees from Queen Mary University of London (PhD and MA) and Goldsmiths (BA).
Katja is the convenor of Theatre Making 3 for which she teaches the Live Art option. She also teaches on Questions of Performance and Theatre Making 2, and lectures on Analytic Vocabularies (Year 1) and Modernisms and Postmodernity (Year 2).
Her teaching specialisms range from Live Art and installation to devising, directing, dramaturgy and performing, and from performance analysis and contemporary European performance to 20th and 21st century theatre and criticism and postdramatic practices in performance.
Katja often works in collaboration with other artists and professionals, and her most recent work, together with healthcare professionals, explores ideas surrounding domestic labour and motherhood. They have begun to think about performative ways to re-imagine the relationship between mothers and other carers and the cared for, while also bearing in mind the importance of the shared and public space of carers.
For the last ten years she has also been involved in an ongoing collaboration with Emily Orley, which has involved maintenance performances, a range of performance installations (Brief Encounters (or The Breaking of Images)) and performative papers (which have come under the heading Making Making Matter). They are interested in exploring ideas surrounding the ethics of delight, image-making, and the ephemerality of performance, but also promoting the value of practice research in the Academy.
Katja’s recent practice research focuses on memory response, a method of critiquing performance which foregrounds creativity in memory, and she published a chapter on memory response in Experiencing Liveness in Contemporary Performance, ed. by Matthew Reason and Anja Lindelöf (2016). With her long-term artistic collaborator Emily Orley, she co-edited The Creative Critic: Writing as/about Practice (Routledge 2018), which is a collection bringing together a range of examples of interdisciplinary methods to engage creatively yet critically with one’s own and others’ practices, introducing ways to discuss artistic work without compromising the creative drive that inspired the work in the first place. Listen to a podcast talk about The Creative Critic: Writing As/About Practice with Emily Orley and host Chris Goode.
Areas of supervision
Katja welcomes PhD proposals in
- Live Art and installation
- Contemporary performance-making processes and practitioners
- Art practice as research
- Creative-critical writing (performative writing, art-writing, site-writing)
Publications and research outputs
Hilevaara, Katja and Orley, E. 2015. Making Making Matter: Paper as Paradox in Practice-as-Research. Ruukku: Studies in Artistic Research, 4,
Hilevaara, Katja and Orley, E. 2018. An Introduction in Five Acts. In: Katja Hilevaara and E Orley, eds. The Creative Critic: Writing as/about Practice. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 978113867482 / 9781138674837
Hilevaara, Katja. 2016. Orange Dogs and Memory Responses: Creativity in Spectating and Remembering. In: Matthew Reason and Anja-Molle Lindelof, eds. Experiencing Liveness in Contemporary Performance: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 34-47. ISBN 9780367513566