RENEW 2013

The 5th International Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology

Riga / October 8 – 11, 2013

"Archiving" Participants

Magdalena NOWAK

KwieKulik Archive: Documenting and Preserving Art in Communist Poland


Panel:Panel A



In the early 70s artistic duo KwieKulik (Zofia Kulik and Przemysław Kwiek) founded the PDDiU (Activities Documentation and Distribution Workshop), which purpose was to document work of the avant-garde artists and to register the artistic events in communist Poland. Their work consisted in photographic or film documentation, but also in archiving all existing documents (leaflets, prints etc). KwieKulik suspended their practice as a duo in 1987, but Zofia Kulik is still in charge of the archive, which will soon be purchased by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. The paper’s aim will be to analyse the KwieKulik archive as one of the first archives in Poland that included the new media work, and which preserved the documents concerning time-based media. The role of new media in documentation of ephemeral art in Poland is also very important, especially considering the specific historical context in which it was created. The scarce documentation and registration of art in communist times (mainly because of the lack of the technical means) makes of KwieKulik archive an important source of information. The paper will present the archive and its new media documents, but more importantly will show the various examples of Polish ephemeral or non-traditional media art of the 70s and 80s. KwieKulik invented many specific artistic activities like “provocation with the camera”, “interrupted projections”, “a documented material and spatial activity”, “for-camera activity” or slide projections onto objects etc., which provides exceptional and interesting material, which is an important issue in Central and Eastern European art history.

Magdalena Nowak, b.1985

Art Historian and Curator

Graduate of the Institute of History of Art of the University of Warsaw (2010)

Assistant Curator in the Department of Contemporary Art of the National Museum in Warsaw (in charge of new media collection) (from 2012)

PhD Student at the Graduate School for Social Research of Polish Academy of Sciences (from 2010)

(thesis project: Empathy and Spirituality in Art and Art Theory from early modern to contemporary times on the example of Bill Viola’s work)

2010-2011 Assistant in the KwieKulik Archive

Renew programme

MAH website

Art+Communication festival


RIXC Centre of New Media Art

Maskavas street 10, Riga, LV-1050, Latvia
Ph. +371 67228478, +371 26546776 (Rasa Smite)

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