Residency Unlimited

RU Talk: Studio Serendipities – Nomadic Practice in Central Eastern Europe

Vishnizki-Levi, "Lokomotywa", Installation, 2022. Photo: Alicja Kielan

Friday March 1, 2024 | 6:00pm

Location: Residency Unlimited
360 Court Street (main green church doors), Brooklyn NY 11231 (map)

Can a country become an artist’s studio space—where a geographical territory or region serves as a source of inspiration as well as a terrain for production? In her conversation with curator Ksenia Nouril, artist Yael Vishnizki Levi will attempt to unpack her artistic endeavors in Central Eastern Europe in the last decade.

Growing up in a family of immigrants between languages, cultures and torn identities, Yael Vishnizki Levi has lived with many open questions that were never answered by her family. Discovering her Polish roots in her early twenties, she embarked on a journey to learn more about her ancestors. Learning languages, moving countries, searching in archives, she has found many interesting and peculiar stories both about her own family history but also such stories and micro-histories that deal with marginalized populations in a larger context and in different geographical locations. Using her art practice as a platform, she attempts to investigate these stories through participatory actions, research and educational tools.

Click below to see images from the program

RU Talk: Studio Serendipities – Nomadic Practice in Central Eastern Europe

Yael Vishnizki-Levi is a visual artist, researcher, curator, filmmaker and educator. She holds a BFA (cum laude) from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. She also studied at the Cooper Union for the Advancement and Science.

In 2014 Yael worked as a researcher and educator at the Brama Grodzka – Teatr NN in Lublin, Poland where she initiated the project Six Verbs Movement in the framework of Konfrontacje Teatralne festival. In 2015 she partook in Vot Ken You Mach? a group exhibition dealing with new scenes of Jewish culture in Central-Eastern Europe in Wrocław Contemporary Museum. Since 2016 Yael participated in many residency programs, such as at the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews In Warsaw (2016); the Nida Art Colony In Lithuania, (2017); Arad Art & Architecture, Israel (2017); Styrian A-i-R in Graz, Austria (2021); among others.

Her solo show Lokomotywa (locomotive) was supported by Asylum Arts Exhibition Grant and took place at the BWA Wrocław Głowny Gallery in Wrocław, Poland (2022) before it was closed due to the full-scale war in Ukraine as the gallery transformed into a temporary refugee shelter.

Yael is the recipient of numerous grants and scholarships among the Puffin Foundation Project Grant (2023); Asylum Arts Exhibition Grant (2022); the University of Warsaw Rector Grant for Excellence in Studies (2020); the Pilecki Institute Exercising Modernity Research Scholarship (2022); and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute Travel Grant for Polish Artists (2017, 2018, 2022).

Coming from a multinational, multicultural and multilingual background that spans across Eastern Europe, The Middle East, and the United States, Yael has always been drawn to investigate the relationship between her own family history and the collective experiences and cultural heritage of immigrant communities in Europe and in the United States. Her practice is rooted in visual arts, yet she incorporates curatorial practices and educational methodologies, archival research, fieldwork, and interviews as well as bibliographic and scientific research. These are being processed and analyzed both into academic and poetic texts as well as into visual mind-maps which are developed later into artworks.


Ksenia Nouril is a New York-based art historian and curator specializing in global contemporary art. Her projects have been grant-funded by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, William Penn Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation, among others. She holds a BA, MA, and PhD in Art History.

Ksenia is currently the Gallery Director and Curator of Exhibitions & Programs at The Art Students League of New York, which will celebrate its 150th anniversary of providing alternative art education in 2025. For nearly 4 years prior, Ksenia was the Jensen Bryan Curator at The Print Center, a non-profit institution in Philadelphia founded in 1915 and dedicated to expanding our understanding of printmaking and photography as vital contemporary arts. From January 2015 to September 2017, she was the Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives (C-MAP) Fellow for Central and Eastern European Art at The Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), where she conducted research, planned programs, and served as co-editor of the online platform Prior to her fellowship, Ksenia was the Research and Editorial Assistant for the Thomas Walther Collection in the Department of Photography at MoMA, where she co-curated the exhibition Production-Reproduction: The Circulation of Photographic Modernism, 1900-1950. From 2011 to 2016, Ksenia held a Dodge Fellowship at the Zimmerli Art Museum (New Brunswick, New Jersey), where she assisted in several exhibitions of the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union, including “Leonid Sokov: Ironic Objects” and “Putting a Face to the Name: Artist Portraits from the Dodge Collection.” In March 2016, she opened “Dreamworlds and Catastrophes: Intersections of Art and Technology in the Dodge Collection.” It traveled to the Bruce Museum (Greenwich, Connecticut) in an expanded iteration as “Hot Art in a Cold War: Intersections of Art and Science in the Soviet Era.” Ksenia is a co-editor of and contributor to “Carmen Winant: A Brand New End” (The Print Center, 2022); editor and contributor of “Ilya Kabakov and Viktor Pivovarov: Stories About Ourselves” (Rutgers University Press, 2019); and co-editor and contributor to “Art and Theory of Post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe: A Critical Anthology” (MoMA, 2018). Her research has been published in numerous exhibition catalogues and magazines.


This program is supported by the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

Related Posts

Nature of Being Artist Talk

RU Program Highlights 2024

The House of Confluence: Far and Near

The House of Confluence: Open Studios + AI DATA POSTCARDS

Latest RU News in your inbox