Warsaw-based curator Ika Sienkiewicz is the director of the a-i-r laboratory at the Center for Contemporary Art at the Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw. The CCA, founded in 1989, is the first center for multi-disciplinary art in Poland, and is considered one of the vibrant institutions of its kind in Europe.  The center hosts a variety of cultural events, including art exhibitions, musical performances, and avant-garde film screenings. Besides supporting Polish artists while abroad, the center also maintains an active archive documenting contemporary art production.

In 2002, the art-in-residence laboratory for visiting artists was established at the CCA with Sienkiewicz as its director.  The residency hosts digital media artists as well as artists working in public spaces. Past residents include the Swiss video producers and directors Frederic Moser& Philippe Schwinger, and the multi-disciplinary artist Ellen Harvey, among others. The exchange has opened up the dialogue between Polish artists and their contemporaries abroad.

Sienkiewicz was invited to Israel by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the JCVA. She stayed here during February, 2008, along with her trusted colleague, fellow curator Marianna Dobkowska. Over their short stay, the two visited many galleries, met with curators and artists in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, toured the digital art center in Holon, and heard video artists' talks at the Barbur Collective Gallery in Jerusalem.  They also toured the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, thus experiencing both ancient and contemporary aspects of Israel.  Their visit constituted the opening shot towards dialogue and cooperation between Polish and Israeli artists, and included a search for the appropriate Israeli artist for a month-long stay at the a-i-r laboratory.

a-i-r the center for contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle