Aleksandra Nowysz

Photo by Keiko Nomura

Warsaw, Poland

Aleksandra Nowysz is an architect and researcher of the Department of Revitalisation and Architecture at Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW. In September 2019, she obtained her Ph.D. in Architecture and Urban Planning on urban agriculture architecture (TU Wroclaw, PL). She also studied at the Institute of Creative Photography in Opava (CZ) and she is a graduate of the Sputnik Photos collective’s Mentoring Programme (PL). She combines research and professional practice with visual art and social engagements. In the 2016 Aleksandra was a participant of the Open Deign School – a pillar project for Matera (IT) as the European Capital of Culture. She participated in the 2nd Food Sovereignty Forum in Poland (Warsaw, February 2020) and currently she has been consulting the Wroclaw Greening Plan (PL). She is a curator of the ”City-Garden-Community” exhibition about community gardening in Poland, wchich was displayed in “ROD Pratulinska Garden” in Warsaw (2020). She is a recipient of the city of Wrocław’s Jerzy Grotowski Scholarship for the field of art and the Exercising Modernity Cultural Scholarship for the research project about urban agriculture in modernist housing estates. The author of photographic projects devoted to vernacular architecture and landscapes, her works have been exhibited in venues including the Krakow Photomonth (PL), Riga Photomonth (LV), Bratislava Photomonth (SK), BWA Wrocław Studio Gallery (PL) and Photon Galleries in Ljubljana (SI) and Vienna (AT). She comes from Wrocław and currently lives and works in Warsaw.


2022 - exhibition at Wolkersdorf Castle (Austria), "12 Auletryd" project,

2022 and 2020 - chairwoman of the jury of the photographic competition "Frames of Modernism", Lower Silesian Festival of Architecture

2022 - Artistic residency in Okinawa (Japan); BWA Wrocław galleries, EU Japan Fest Japan Committee;

2022, 2021, 2019, 2018 - grants "Polish Culture in the World, Institute A. Mickiewicz

2021 - Artist Residency "Return 2 Ithaca" (Greece), art project: "12 Auletryd".

2021 - Research and art scholarship "Exercising modernity", Pilecki Institute.

2016-2021 - Studies at the Institute of Creative Photography in Opava (Czech Republic)

2021 - international exhibition "Better Tomorrow", Kulturzug Wroclaw-Berlin

2021 - individual exhibition "Lepsze Jutro", Karrot gallery, Warsaw

2020 - "Show off" exhibition, Month of Photography in Krakow, "Lepsze Jutro" project, won open-call

2020 - Curator of the open-air exhibition "City-Garden-Community", ROD Pratulinska, Warsaw, Studio of Common Goods

2020 - Exercising Modernity - international research and art workshop; Pilecki Institute, Gdynia City Museum, Polish Institute in Tel Aviv

2019 - First prize and solo exhibition "Better Tomorrow", Photon gallery, Ljubljana (Slovenia).

2019 - PhD in the discipline of Architecture and Urban Planning, PWr, dissertation distinction

2018 - "Better Tomorrow" exhibition, BWA Wrocław

2017 - 3rd prize in the photographic competition Lower Silesian Festival of Architecture

2017 - exhibition "Different Worlds 2017", Photon gallery in Vienna (Austria), project "Better Tomorrow".

2016/2017 - Scholarship of the President of Wroclaw - named after J. Grotowski for doctoral students in the field of art

2016 - three honorable mentions in the international photo competition - International Photo Award (including the landscape category)

2015 - honorable mention in the international photo competition - International Photo Award

2013 - First prize in the international architecture and urban planning competition, Bürchen Mystik, Menis Arquitectos

Artist Statement

Beneath the concrete, the river! 

It has been discovered that fish are attracted by sounds of the coral reef ecosystem. Scientists actually used this phenomenon to inverse an ecosystem dying process. Fish are attracted by sound back to dying patches of reef and stimulate its life. At this very moment you are standing inside a concrete building that has been built over the Garve riverbed. From the speakers you can hear the sound of a coral reef attracting fish, which means that non-human species are also participating in the event with you - they are under the building. The photos show the concrete surfaces of the building being affected by moisture. This is rain that would have fallen into the river, but stopped on the concrete floor. It is also water from the river, as a result of capillary rise, in places where the waterproofing is probably damaged.

The title “Beneth the concrete, the river!” refers to the slogan of Paris 1968 - “Beneth the pavement, the beach” (fr. Sous les pavés, la plage!). It expresses the desire that there is freedom, although it has been covered by hardened frames of the socio-political system. By this reference I wish to evoke contemporary Okinawan history - the US military presence and concrete production for the US bases, which also influenced local architecture, that is mainly concrete now. Moreover, a touch of military apparatus also has consequences for local ecosystems, including coral reefs, especially now under Henoko landfill reclamation.

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