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Dorota Michalska

Dorota Michalska is a Doctoral Student in History and Theory of Contemporary Art at the Ruskin School of Art and Brasenose College, Oxford.

Dorota holds an MA in Culture Studies from the University of Warsaw, Poland and a MA in Art History from The Courtauld Institute of Art, London. She also completed a curatorial program at The Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, Sweden. Her DPhil at the Ruskin is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and by a Scatchered European Scholarship.

Her doctoral dissertation, entitled ‘The Other Side of The Elbe River. Interventions in Art, Modernity and Coloniality in Poland’, focuses on how artists from Poland have articulated, challenged and worked through the asynchronous temporalities and uneven development of peripheral modernism in the region. By closely exploring the artistic practices of selected artists, I trace how their works are deeply attuned to lived material realities marked by both capitalist modernisation and the remnants of older economic formations and forms of collective consciousness. What emerges from their practices is a vision of the present where the past – old patterns, artistic traditions and images, remnants of the feudal past – are not just a lingering echo but a deeply coeval and constitutive part of peripheral modernity.

Dorota’s writings have appeared in a number of art journals such as ArtMargins, L’Internationale, Afterall, Kajet Journal, Post.Moma. She has also written for catalogues for the Venice Biennale (2019) the Biennale Matter of Art in Prague (2022), Zachęta National Gallery (2023) and the Magdalena Abakanowic Foundation (2024). In 2022, together with Marta Aleksandra Zboralska, she convened a conference on art and coloniality in Eastern Europe as part of the Annual Conference For Art History with an upcoming publication.

Between 2013 and 2015, Dorota was an Assistant Researcher at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. In 2016, she was selected as a Curatorial Fellow at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Italy. Her recent exhibitions include Passo Dopo Passo (Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin), The Shape Left by the Body (The Sunday Painter, London), The House of the Spider (Gdansk City Gallery, Poland). In 2024, she will be a Junior Visiting Fellow at The Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) in Vienna, Austria working on a research project focused on contemporary art and ‘border-thinking’ between Poland and Ukraine.