Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw

Institute of Music and Dance’s Partner

The institution’s history commences in the year 1981, when the then governing authorities of Poland decided to rebuild the Ujazdowski Castle for the purposes of contemporary art. Although the program activity started in 1988, the dynamic development began only with the political transformation, when ( on January 15th, 1990) Wojciech Krukowski was appointed director. The most significant attribute of the program of the new institution was the intermedia program aimed at capturing the transformation of visual arts in connection with other fields of creativity: theatre, dance, music, film, and literature. The first institution in Poland was created which so sharply focused on contemporary art.

Unlike the museums, Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art often undertook the cooperation with the artists, which supported the implementation of new works. In the 1990s, this created not only exceptionally favorable conditions for the development and promotion of critical art, but also many other important trends in contemporary art. The works of art of the most outstanding foreign and Polish artists were presented regularly, all the while the collection of contemporary art was being expanded and the “Obieg” magazine published, reinvigorating the artistic environment.

Since October 1st, 2014, the director has been Małgorzata Ludwisiak. The new programming strategy is defined by the dynamics of the contemporary processes of the globalization of art as well as by the expansion of the issues undertaken in the 90’s, such as the phenomenon of transmediality and the performative turn. The newly created departments of Performative Arts and Social Projects experiment with unconventional formats of art presentation and try to incorporate them into current discussions and social activities.

Nearly 1500 events per year are held at Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art. The online quarterly "Obieg" also operates under the institution, and in a new design since June of 2016. The institution now also provides wider access to the archives and materials concerning the history of the institution, which it has been gathering since its inception, as well as those documenting contemporary art in Poland. Digitized resources will be presented on the internet portal in 2020. At the same time, at the second half of 2020, the International Collection of Contemporary Art will be opened in the castle cellars, coupling history with the present and future of the institution.