December 2018 

Warsaw: Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art Ula Sickle’s “Free Gestures” – choreographic exhibition

3 March 2018 - 25 March 2018 | Warsaw: Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, ul. Jazdów 2. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 2 pm-7 pm, and Thursday 4 pm-9 pm.


Free Gestures is a choreographic exhibition, activated by a group of dancers for five hours each day. The starting point is the question of how ideologies become incorporated into our bodies and language. Here, it is not the performers’ bodies or objects that are the works of art, but rather the performed texts, gestures and movement. The first individual exhibition of Ula Sickle, a Canadian artist of Polish origin, presented in the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, confronts the problem of the loss of individual and collective agency in today’s world.


Ula Sickle comes from a choreographic background. She creates performances and installations as well as works at the interface of disciplines, in which she probes pop culture as a global phenomenon. She frequently ventures beyond the canon of contemporary dance, introducing elements of street dance, club culture or mass concerts. She works closely with DJs and, as with the work Kinshasa Electric,the hip-hop scene in the Congo.


Free Gestures is an encounter between choreography, literature and the format of an exhibition. The artist has combined the voices of five writers from different corners of the world: Natalia Fiedorczuk-Cieślak (Poland), Amandeepa Sandhu (India), Jacob Wren (Canada), Mi You (China) and Anna Zett (Germany), have been invited to contribute their own perspectives by writing a short piece for the performers. Through their subjective narratives, the literary texts demonstrate how contemporary ideologies percolate into everyday life through new media or visual culture. The writers, as well as the artist, curator and performers all share the perspective of the same generation, who came of age in the 1990s – an era of dominant capitalism and the neoliberal economic model.

The exhibition has been developed as part of Ula Sickle’s artist residency at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre of Contemporary Art, and is one of a series of projects organised by the institution to explore new exhibition forms, with an emphasis on the performative exhibition format, focused on live action.


Curator: Agnieszka Sosnowska

Coordination: Joanna Manecka

Artist’s assistant: Dominik Skrzypkowski

Performers: Liwia Bargieł, Ewa Dziarnowska, Jan Lorys, Joseph Funnell, Wojtek Grudziński, Karolina Kraczkowska, Sara Lâm, Ania Nowak, Aleksandra Osowicz, Bożena Wydrowska

Texts: Natalia Fiedorczuk-Cieślak, Amandeep Sandhu, Jacob Wren, Mi You, Anna Zett

Costumes: Sabrina Seifried

Music: Poly Chain

Exhibition design: Studio Matosek/Niezgoda (Paulina Tyro-Niezgoda/Piotr Matosek)



Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art


Institution financed by:

The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage  


Additional funds from:

Canada Council for the Arts and Flanders State of the Art


Media partners:

TOK FM, “Gazeta Wyborcza”, Warszawa, Co Jest Grane 24, K Mag, Aktivist






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