Karolina Puchała-Rojek is an art and photography historian, co-founder and chair (for almost four years) of the Archaeology of Photography Foundation, one of the first institutions in Poland involved in photography heritage and archive protection. For the past ten years she has been digitising projects through her foundation, both digitally preserving and providing access to photography archives. She coordinates international projects devoted to the protection of photography archives (including The Long Life of Photography). She has edited books (including Zofia Chomętowska: Polesie. The Photographs from 1925–1939, the catalogue for the Zofia Chomętowska exhibition in Minsk, Belarus), written articles, and selected photographs for the two volumes of Zofia Chomętowska: Photographer’s Albums, which received awards at events including the Photography Publication of the Year competition in 2016; she was also co-editor of Wojciech Zamecznik: Photo-graphics (winner of the prestigious Aperture and Paris Photo competition for photography catalogue of the year in 2016). She has written articles on the history of photography, and curated and co-curated exhibitions, such as one on Wojciech Zamecznik at Warsaw’s Zachęta Gallery (with Karolina Lewandowska, 2016) and The Estate: Sculptures from the Collection of von Rose Family with Films and Photographs from the Archives of Zofia Chomętowska exhibition (in a curatorial team led by Agnieszka Tarasiuk, 2015). She is presently working on the archive of negatives belonging to Marek Piasecki.
“What interests me primarily in photography are long-term projects, based on research into archives or previously inaccessible collections, which expand our knowledge while providing us with insight into the cultural history both of the collective and of individuals. I also appreciate projects based on artists’ individual experiences, which jolt us from stereotypical perceptions of reality and take a critical stance against it, particularly as relates to gender experiences. I will be searching for mature projects that arise from a conscious use of photography, both in terms of form and the content it communicates; that embrace the unconventional; and that are visually interesting.”