“Tapes you watch when you are alone” explores Polish cultural identity on the centennial of independence. It is the result of a residency I conducted at the Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art in Ustka, Poland.
A country located at the crossroads of Central and Eastern Europe, Poland’s borders and history have been shaped by repeated foreign oppressions, territorial divisions, and invasions – profoundly impacting the Polish people. These experiences fueled their struggle for autonomy and defined a strong cultural character.
Through this residency at the Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art in Ustka, Poland, I researched archival materials from the State Archive, combining them with portraits and landscapes I photographed during my time there. I worked with historical documents and living testimonies collected from diverse generations to trace connections between past and present, as well as individual and collective memories.
The project puts these sources into dialogue to examine how Poland’s turbulent political experiences over the last century have informed and sustained cultural identity. Amid shifting borders, the Polish spirit endured displacement and oppression, fueling both a will to autonomy and sense of shared heritage across eras.