Monika Supruniuk
Monika Supruniuk

Issues of conservation and restoration
of two photographic works by Zbigniew Dłubak:
Onona and Desymbolisations

Assistant Professor Marzenna Ciechańska
Studio of Conservation and Restoration 
of Old Prints and Manuscripts


Monika Supruniuk’s degree piece deserves to be presented as one of the best
degree pieces of 2011 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. This is because
it simply is a great conservation work, due to both the unusual choice of objects
for Monika’s major (contemporary photographs) and a wide range of conservation
issues, but primarily, because it is imbued with the enormous creative passion
of the author.

Monika Supruniuk’s conservation interests are focused on contemporary art.
She is interested in mixed media objects, which use modern technologies and
materials. The selection of pieces for the project was neither accidental nor imposed.
After several months of searching she chose two pieces by Zbigniew Dłubak,
the essential component of which are photographic prints. However, both in terms
of technology and the conservation problems encountered, they were completely
different. Onona is a spatial object composed of two elements – large format
photography and a profile cut out of plywood. Desymbolisations is a series of five
photographs. Although the scope of the conservation work was completely different,
the conservation of both of them shared a basic assumption – to restore the exhibition
value of the pieces. Implementation of the assumption adopted by the author
was different for each of the works. The spatial object was conserved and restored,
while Desymbolisations, irreversibly destroyed by a microbiological infection,
underwent conservative maintenance, and for the exhibition purpose, the author
made a digital reconstruction based on similar prints which had been found.

The task was extremely hard. Issues Monika had to overcome while implementing
this project, both ideological and technological, went far beyond what is normally
expected in the conservation of contemporary art works.


B. 1985, studied at the Faculty of Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art
of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2004–2011). She received a scholarship
from Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and North Rhine-Westphalia (2009)
and the MEDIA+ Programme of the European Union (2010). Has worked
at the National Film Archive in Warsaw since 2009, on a project called
The Conservation and Digitalisation of Pre-war Feature Films.