Common space(s)?

Klara Czerniewska-Andryszczyk on encounters with Ujazdowski residents in 2021

A girl from Antwerp, investigating the intersections between art, design and scenography. Two artists from Switzerland: one a social activist/filmmaker exploring the transformative potential of drag culture and public space, and the other a visual artist with a tongue-in-cheek approach to painting, sculpture and teaching. A digital artist from the USA who bails people out of prison using cryptocurrencies. A Polish/American artist/activist creating works of art that are also useful. An artist from Ukraine who is in love with Polish avant-garde of the late 20th century. What can they all possibly have in common? The answer is simple: they all took part in the residency programme at the Ujazdowski Castle this year. 

Originating from different countries and focusing on different aspects of the wide spectrum of the artworld, Grayson Earle, Nadia Elamly, Paul Hutzli, Amy Pekal, Sasha Kurmaz and Fleur Roggeman found their temporary homes and studios in the Laboratory building.

There was no official curriculum for them to follow and no common thread to their stay. Neither was there any obligation for them to produce anything. Each of them had their own agenda: Fleur took her time to redefine her artistic practice. Nadia and Grayson focused on working on their new films. Amy threw herself into numerous projects across the country and initated the construction of a compost bin for the institution. Paul used his time to catch up on some reading and to put his teaching career on hold, while Sasha ventured on a new exciting artistic collaboration.

I met them all over the course of the year, and the conversations we had were held in unusual circumstances affected both by political as well as pandemic contexts. We were not only speaking about art and their individual art practices, although this is mostly what remains captured in print. The interviews we present in this volume present a mere glimpse at each of the artists interesting personalities and experiences. I hope that their stay at the Castle provided each of them with the distance, calmness and determination that each of us needs in these difficult times.

  • Text
    • Klara Czerniewska-Andryszczyk