Zofia Łuczko (1963) collaborated as an artist with the Łódź Kaliska group and the Pitch-In Culture milieu. She is the documentalist and the custodian of the archives of both formations. She joined the Łódź neo-avant-garde milieu at the beginning of the 1980s.
Łuczko studied architecture in the years 1982-1989 at the Łódź University of Technology, where she met Marek Janiak, a lecturer and also the key theoretician of Łódź Kaliska and the Pitch-In Culture. As early as in spring 1983 Łuczko started to attend the meetings of the Pitch-In Culture. Soon she also joined the Łódź Kaliska group, which constituted an important component of the Pitch-In Culture.
In the highly masculine society of the Pitch-In Culture Łuczko was not only a documentalist and a coordinator, who used café napkins to put down her colleagues’ thoughts, collected their notes, animated their meetings, but also a full-fledged artist. Her “cunt paper cuttings”, created since 1984, were symbolic representations of labia embellished with decorative abstract and plant motifs. In a decade, in which Polish art was dominated by male communities and strong androcentrism such bold albeit jocular works on female sexuality were extremely rare.
Establishing Zocha’s Gallery (U Zochy in Polish) in her private apartment in December 1986 was a particularly significant initiative. Although the gallery lasted just for half a year it hosted several exhibitions, and most importantly, it became as a meeting place and a day-room for artists and friends from the former The Attic (Strych) community. When Włodzimierz Adamiak, the owner of The Attic, put an end to cultural activities there and proceeded to use the space for his accommodation, the Pitch-In Culture community found haven at Zocha’s.
As Łuczko frequently posed for photographers from Łódź Kaliska and the Pitch-In Culture, she was proclaimed the first “muse” of Łódź Kaliska (later on other women were declared as “muses” as well). Nonetheless, Łuczko was in fact (although not officially) a member of the group on par with her colleagues, not just merely a model or an animator. She withdrew from artistic activities in 1990s to dedicate herself to family life and pursue gainful employment.
During the Martial Law period and later in the 1980s, same as other members of the Pitch-In Culture, Łuczko joined an informal network of underground artists. Although the Pitch-In Culture, including Łuczko, was subjected to state surveillance and without a doubt had the reality of police state affect practices and ideas, the Culture tended to refrain from political engagement and did not have direct links to political opposition groups.
In 2012, at the insistence of her Łódź Kaliska colleagues, Łuczko decided to digitalise the archival materials she gathered throughout the years. Along with her husband and her son Łuczko runs the City of Culture Foundation (Fundacja Miasto Kultury), which supported the launching of a webpage that presents the rich heritage of the Pitch-In Culture. Until this day Łuczenko remains its custodian and participates on regular basis in the meetings dedicated to the legacy of radical art of the 1980s.
Łódź , Polska
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Author(s) of this page
- Stanczyk, Xawery