Curatorial (online) Lecture – Working with Collections: Joanna Mytkowska - The Polish-Soviet Friendship and The Letter | 4.06.2020

Image lecture

Closing the Curatorial Lecture 2019-20 series on the theme of 'Working with Collections'*, S.M.A.K. and Curatorial Studies at KASK are honoured to present an online lecture by curator and art critic Joanna Mytkowska.  

Joanna Mytkowska** is the director of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw since 2007. Previously, she worked as a curator at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. She is the co-founder of the Foksal Gallery Foundation in Warsaw, where she worked from 2001 until 2007. In 2005 she curated the Polish Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale, exhibiting Repetition by Artur Żmijewski.

In her lecture, Mytkowska will present how different sequences of works and narratives intertwine within the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, using two important works as case studies: Alina Szapocznikow’s Monument of Polish-Soviet Friendship (1954) and Goshka Macuga’s The Letter (2011). Her reading will consider anecdotal details, as well as art historical reflection and reference to contemporary debates.

Practical information

  • Thursday June 4 from 7 until 9 pm.
  • Zoom webinar. To join, please registrar via, or follow the live stream on the Facebook page of S.M.A.K. or Curatorial Studies at KASK (link will follow later).
  • Facebook Event.
  • Free, all welcome.

** Mytkowska curated and co-curated: Never Again. Art against War and Fascism in the 20th and 21st Centuries (Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, 2019), Edi Hila. Painter of Transformation (Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, 2018), Beguiling Siren Is Thy Crest (Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, 2017), Alina Szapocznikow, Sculpture Undone 1955–1972 (Centre d'Art Contemporain Wiels, Brussels; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art in New York, 2012–2013), Les promesses du passé (Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2010), Awkward Objects (Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, 2009), Les Inquiets. Cinq artistes sous la pression de la guerre (Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2008), Le Nuage Magellan (Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2007), and Oskar Hansen. A Dream of Warsaw (Foksal Foundation Gallery, Warsaw 2005). Mytkowska is the editor of the publications Henryk Stażewski. Economy of Thought and Perception (2006) and Edward Krasiński (1997).

* Each academic year, Curatorial Studies at KASK-School of Arts Ghent, S.M.A.K. and Ghent University co-organise the prestigious Curatorial Lectures series, given by renowned curatorial practitioners in relation to a specific theme. After "Working with Artists" (2017-18) and "Learning from Artists" (2018-19), this year's theme addresses the curatorial challenges of curating in the context of public and private collections.

Past speakers in the Curatorial Lectures series have included Anthony Huberman, Jean-Hubert Martin, Chus Martínez, Gabi Ngcobo, Susanne Pfeffer, Nicolaus Schafhausen, Adam Szymczyk, Mathieu Copeland and Penelope Curtis.

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