Ika Sienkiewicz-Nowacka

Ika Sienkiewicz-Nowacka

Ika Sienkiewicz-Nowacka is a curator, manager of culture and head of the Artistic Residencies Department at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw. She founded the U-jazdowski residencies(at that time A-I-R Laboratory) in 2003 as the first ongoing residency program in Poland and one of leading residency programs in Central Europe. She graduated from Inter-Faculty Individual Studies in the Humanities (University of Warsaw) and holds the European Diploma for Culture Management (Brussels). She has been working with the Open Method of Coordination, introduced by the European Commission – a program designed to help member states jointly progress in the implementation of reforms needed in order to achieve the goals of the Lisbon treaty, in this case to improve the mobility in the arts and culture sector. Between 2010 and 2020 acted as a board member of the Res Artis Foundation in Amsterdam and member of the Programme Council of Akademie Schloss Solitude.
Her research interests centre on the significance of residencies within the fields of artistic and institutional practice. She views curatorial practice as a tool to build creative situations and long-term relations. She carries out projects in which visual arts become a tool of social change and are used to shape and promote alternative models of social development.
Between 2003 and 2021 after founding residency program at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art she curated and co-produced projects, exhibitions, presentations by number of international visiting artists. In 2009–2011 she was a curator and project manager of a research-, residency- and production-based Polish-Norwegian project Rooted Design For Routed Living. Alternative Design Strategies funded with European Economic Area and Norwegian Financial Mechanisms resources. In 2010–2012 she was co-curating and managing an international project RE-tooling RESIDENCIES, dedicated to research and implementation of new residency models. She has curated and co-curated numerous projects such as Public AIR, Supersam and My Castle is Yours Castle, which were carried out in public spaces and included the active participation of wide audiences. Since 2011 she is co-curating the seminars for professionals Re-Directing: EAST, programme of curatorial residencies organized at Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art from 2013 until 2019 in order to facilitate collaborations in-between art initiatives, which due to geopolitical conditions hasn’t had many opportunities to exchange knowledge and experience in a horizontal way. The project was held annually at Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art until 2020. She was engaged in international research project dedicated to the residency sector entitled: Care, Community, Laboratory Mapping Residencies. The publication under the same title, she was coediting was published in 2023.
Since 2015 she is curating Everyday Forms of Resistance, long term project and the exhibition at Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art . The project is based on international residency exchanges, assemblies and exhibition highlighting practices that help us preserve our humanity and resist social, political, or ecological turmoil – also beyond the territory of occupied Palestine. The project is the result of long-running projects by Palestinian, Polish and other European artists as well as residences that took place over the last four years, trips, research, and collaborations with local communities. It was presented in 2021 as group exhibition held at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art. In 2022 in response to Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine she co-curated project entitled Emergency Residencies, designed to support artists and art workers who seek refuge from the war.