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Remixing “Polish Film History“: Self-Contaminations, Queer Interventions, and Affective Conjurings

Rafał Morusiewicz
Dissertationsstipendiat an der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien | Abschluss-Stipendium des Doktoratszentrums 2018|19


What is one’s affective agency in historiographic work? According to Gordon (2008), acknowledging the potentiality of being affected by what is silenced, erased, and/or appropriated in one's research opens the possibility of un-repressing what may otherwise be dismissed as “non-favored” forms of knowledge. She therefore voices the need for researchers and writers to “make common cause,” to understand how “we are in these stories, with how they change us, with our own ghosts” (pp. 21-22). My “PhD-in-Practice” doctoral project consists in queering/remixing the archive of moving images produced in Polish People’s Republic in 1952-1989. Combining historiography with auto-ethnography, the project consists of two parts, film-based and text-based, each of which approximates the economy of a mash-up. Each part has its own idiosyncratic temporality, measured by refrains, detours, and shifting focalizations. Each unfolds into a weave of stories and references, told through a variety of genres and anti/research practices. Each develops rhizomatically, stumbling upon interventions, disruptions, and digressions, and mushrooming into affective audio-visual-textual assemblages of meanings and situations. Each part is thus a historiographic mash-up, a cluster of “queer commentaries” on fragments of “Polish film history,” an attempt to acknowledge the role of my unreliable and affective memory in producing multiple attachments to the subject matter. I propose a historiographic reading, filtered through personal experience of kinship and loss, informed by “methodologies of affect,” understood through figures of nostalgia, melancholia, and haunting. My proposal aims to embrace the potentiality of moving image as a medium and editing as a practice in an attempt to reconfigure various temporalities that my project invites. I also attempt to initiate reflection on issues relating to intellectual property, anti/research methods in historiographic accounts, and the complexity of the researcher-artist-writer's affective involvement in the subject matter.


Rafal Morusiewicz is a PhD-in-Practice candidate at Akademie der bildende Kuenste Wien (AT), mapping in his dissertation and artistic project queerable moments in the moving images set in, produced in, and/or invoking Polish People’s Republic (1952-1989). He is currently completing the second doctoral dissertation in Institute of Applied Social Sciences, University of Warsaw (PL), where he analyzes modes of queer resistance and assimilation in the post-1989 Polish film. His film and writing practices are informed by the historiographic and auto-ethnographic working with affective memory, which manifests in the weave of film, sonic, and textual interventions into the found-footage film material.