Jubilee of U–jazdowski Cinema

May is an exceptional month for the cinema at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art. It was in May 21 years ago that the audience attended the first screenings in our cinema room. This year, to celebrate the anniversary, we invite you to follow our social media. We will post many interesting articles about the Castle Centre for Contemporary Art film programme, and on 12th May a film created thanks to Mediateka archives will have its premiere.

The cinema at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art has operated continuously since May 2000. It came into being in an atmosphere of creative unrest and policy-based interdisciplinarity of the institution. Born from experiment at the interface between different activities, it became a space for meetings and discussion, exploration of avant-garde novelties and unique trends, and bold analysis of the constantly changing surroundings. It was a direct continuation of the Media Art Laboratory which saw film as part of visual arts in general. At the same time, KINO.LAB, as the cinema was called until 2017, grew from the tradition of the Auditorium – a programme of meetings, debates, and discussions – sharing not only the same space but also the values of dialogue, discussion, and knowledge sharing. The idea of a fully-fledged cinema within an art institution, revolutionary 21 years ago, remains unique countrywide. The cinema at the Ujazdowski Castle has been true to its initial spirit, remaining a space for creative interaction, experiment, and reflection on what the film medium has to say about the world that surrounds us.

During the past two decades, the cinema held countless screenings, programmes, festivals, and meetings. We hosted Chantal Akerman, Ulrike Ottinger, Barbara Hammer, Yoko Ono, Harun Farocki, Sharon Lockhart, showing their retrospectives and those of many other remarkable artists – both the classics of the avant-garde and the newest artistic and experimental cinema. Many of our programmes reflected upon how the cinema can serve as a medium for a deeper understanding of important issues, including our recent reviews: Cinema of Crises, Decolonizing the Screen, Posthuman Cinema. How Experimental Films Teach (and Learn) How To Show Animals, and Cinema of the Anthropocene, focused on whether images and technologies can help humans rebuild their relationship with the environment.

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