Katabasis: A Larp about descents and origin myths

6 May 2018

Sun 6 May, 1 – 6pm
SPACE Mare Street
£6/4 Sign up here

All welcome, no prior larping experience necessary

Katabasis is a larp about cave descents, origin myths and group archetypes designed and run by Una Hamilton Helle, Susan Ploetz and Francis Patrick Brady.

Generations ago our people fled into a vast system of caves to create a new world. The Myth tells how we started as a whole, but after the Great Divide we were separated. There are stories about the others, still out there, but we haven’t encountered them. As we descend further into the vast network of caverns, we feel the presence and traces of the mythical others as they appear to us as symbols, detritus and echoes in the dark.

Katabasis is a flexible structure for those who want to think about the formation of societies and culture, as well as communication and the negotiation of differences. It is a larp that explores these themes through physical storytelling, symbol creation, telekinesis and ritualised movement and sound.


No experience of larp or movement-based practice is necessary to take part. Play is suited to all levels of physicality, but if you have any specific needs please contact the gallery in advance. Please dress in clothes you are comfortable to move around it.

Larp is originally an acronym for Live Action Role Playing, but today it’s used as name in itself. It refers to an interactive activity where people immerse themselves in fictional worlds to experience how others might live. Larps are played by groups of 2 or more people facilitated by a games master whose role is to ensure the players feel safe, understand the rules, roles and fiction within the larp.

Nordic Larp is a school of larp design originating in the Nordic countries and is one which values immersion, collaboration and artistic vision. This larp event is of the Nordic school.


Una Hamilton Helle is an artist and art worker who utilises images, installation, collaborative workshops (LARPs) and writing to explore how we construct meaning through fictional structures. She is preoccupied with ideas around belonging, nature and how we are formed by landscape and our surroundings, as well as exploring methodologies of collaboration and co-existence. She recently published Becoming the Forest #2, a journal which forms part of a wider arts project about forests, molecular biology, animism and black metal. She also curates and commissions art projects as part of the contemporary art organisation Legion TV.

Francis Patrick Brady works as an artist and pedagogue who creates artistic games that question the accepted realities of social and cultural norms building scenarios that establish crossovers between fantasy and fiction. Using installation, sculpture, conversation, and speculative play as artistic materials to unite various dialogues between social and political groups. He received his bachelors in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts UAL in 2010 and his masters in Critical & Pedagogical Studies from Malmö Art Academy in 2017. His artistic practice is based in performance and role play within art conference, gallery and university or institutional contexts, often subverting the usual course of interaction through spoken word or play.

Susan Ploetz (US/DE) is an artist-researcher working with somatics, theory, writing, performance and live action role plays (larping) in different configurations. Her work deals with the overlapping spaces of soma and technos, using imagination, magical materiality and protocol to induce emancipatory emotive dissonances and perceptual expansion. She has presented work at the Martin Gropius Bau, Sophiensaele, ABC Art Fair, Rupert (Vilnius), Documenta 13, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, and Performa. She has been a guest artist or lectured at Universität der Kunst (Berlin), The Dutch Art Institute, The Pervasive Media Studio (Bristol), and SUNY Buffalo.