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Dr. Ewa Sułek



Wissenschaftliche/r Mitarbeiter/in

Osteuropa-Institut der Freien Universität Berlin
Garystraße 55
Raum 115a
14195 Berlin
  • 2002 - 2008 Master’s degree in history of art at the University of Warsaw, Institute of Art History
  • 2005 - 2006 Junior Year Abroad at the University of Cambridge, Department of History of Art
  • 2018 - 2022 Doctorate at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun
    Topic of the dissertation: Space of Transformation: Contemporary Art Centres in Kyiv. The Case of PinchukArtCentre and Mystetskyi Arsenal
  • 2019 Visiting student at the University of Cambridge, Cambridge Ukrainian Studies, Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages 
  • 2022 Fulbright Junior Research Award at Harvard University, Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute
  • 2023 - 2024 DAAD PRIME postdoctoral fellowship at the Freie Universität Berlin, Institute for East European Studies, and Harvard University, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies
    Topic of the postdoctoral research project: In Transition: Rupture and Loss in Contemporary Ukrainian Art. The Case of IZOLYATSIA

Artistic work

Catastrophic Interference

Kirkland Gallery, Harvard Graduate School of Design


Harvard University

April 24-28, 2024

Ewa Sułek / Manaswi Mishra / Michał Matejko

Catastrophic Interference is a multimedia installation based on text, sound, image, and smell that explores the concepts of memory and forgetting while investigating the complex couplings between a human and a machine. The project is structured around memories (distorted, blurred, sometimes fake, and imposed) of Lviv and Luhansk, two Ukrainian cities situated at the country's opposite ends. 

We speak of Catastrophic Interference, also known as catastrophic forgetting, when an artificial neural network abruptly forgets previously learned information upon learning a new one. The human brain performs similar volt; thus, memories can be suppressed or altered, and the faces or places, once known, can be disfigured, or even forgotten. Furthermore, it was discovered that, contrary to popular belief, our perception has been shaped by natural selection to hide (and not reveal) objective reality. Thus, we are prone to illusions and hallucinations. In machine learning, hallucinations are misleading or incorrect results that AI models generate and present as actual. The project explores that sphere of glitches, errors, and bugs that make the machine more humane.

Research projects: 

DAAD PRIME postdoctoral research project: In Transition: Rupture and Loss in Contemporary Ukrainian Art. The Case of IZOLYATSIA

Doctoral dissertation: Space of Transformation: Contemporary Art Centres in Kyiv. The Case of PinchukArtCentre and Mystetskyi Arsenal

Research focus:

  • Postcolonial studies (decolonial and postcolonial methodologies, postcolonial healing, postcolonial turn in Ukraine)
  • Ukrainian contemporary visual art and war (visual art during Maidan revolution, annexation of Crimea, war in Donbas, full-scale Russian invasion)
  • Environmental humanities (landscape, environmental exploitation, Donbas)
  • Humanistic geography (geopoetics, space and place, home and posthome)
  • Memory studies (lost territories, mythology, cognition)


  • Space of Transformation: Contemporary Art Centres in Kyiv. The Case of PinchukArtCentre and Mystetskyi Arsenal, Peter Lang, Frankfurt-Cambridge-New York 2023-2024 (upcoming)
  • Chłopak z pianinem, PWN, 232p., Warsaw 2018


Edited volumes


Book chapters

  • Hens, Dolls, Matryoshkas, and the Pink Shark, in: The Co(s)mic Picture of Reality in the Art of Julia Curyło, Unicorn, London 2021
  • W poszukiwaniu piękna narodowych stereotypów, in: Sztuka Europy Wschodniej / Искусство восточной Европы / Art of Eastern Europe, vol. VII, Sztuka ukraińska XX wieku i polsko-ukraińskie związki artystyczne, eds. Jerzy Malinowski, Agnieszka Pospiszil, Ewa Sułek, pp. 223-228, Polish Institute For World Art Studies-Wydawnictwo TAKO, Warsaw-Toruń 2019






Exhibition catalogues

  • Tracing the past, consolidating the future, text accompanying the exhibition of contemporary Ukrainian art Dedication – Traces and Tactics, Konsthall, Kristianstad 2021
  • One step. From Protest to Revolution, in: Revolutionize, exhibition catalogue, Mystetskyi Arsenal National Art and Culture Museum Complex, pp. 18-24, National Memorial to the Heavenly Hundred Heroes and Revolution of Dignity Museum (Maidan Museum), Kyiv 2019
  • Does artist really work? in: Art Work / Mystetska Praca. Texts, pp. 139-147,Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv 2019
  • Kosmos. Kobieta/Space.Woman, pp. 5-14, Obraz jako zmiksowany utwór/Painting as a Mixed Creation, pp. 38-40, Julia Curyło. Moje kosmogonie/Julia Curyło. My Cosmogonies, exhibition catalog, Stalowa Gallery, Warsaw 2018
  • Nieprzetłumaczalne/UntranslatableAgnieszka Sandomierz. Nieprzetłumaczalne/Agnieszka Sandomierz. Untranslatable, exhibition catalog, pp. 5-16, Galeria Stalowa, Warszawa 2018
  • Euroarabia, czyli niepokójJulia Curyło. Cudowne opowieści, exhibition catalog, pp. 23-27 (il.), Museum of Warmia and Masuria in Olsztyn, Zamek Gallery in Reszel, Reszel 2015
  • Hello Modernity!, pp.12-21, Kury Feministyczne / Feministic Hens, pp. 61-66, Julia Curyło. Hello Modernity!, exhibition catalog, Municipal Gallery in Wrocław, Wrocław 2013
  • Cząska H0 / Particle H0Julia Curyło. Boska cząstka 8-14 TeV/Julia Curyło. God’s Particle 8-14 TeV, exhibition catalog, pp. 5-22, BWA w Bydgoszczy, Bydgoszcz 2013
  • Julia Curyło. Odpusty i cudowne widzenia/Julia Curyło. Church Fairs and Miraculous Visions, exhibition catalog, 28 p., Wozownia Gallery, Toruń 2011
  • Julia Curyło. Rzeczywistość magiczna/Julia Curyło. Magical Reality, exhibition catalog, 28 p., Art Gallery in Legnica, Legnica 2011



  • Harvard Ukrainian Studies, vol. 36, no 3-4, 2019, Ukrainian Modernism, ed. Michael S. Flier, Ukrainian Research Institute of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A., in: Sztuka i Krytyka, no 9-10 (96-97), pp. 24 - 27, Polish Institute of World Art Studies, Warsaw 2020
  • Borys Michajłow i charkowska szkoła fotografii w Pinchuk Art Centre w Kijowie, in: Sztuka i Krytyka, no 9 (84), pp. 35-38, Polish Institute For World Art Studies, Warsaw 2019