The work of Goshka Macuga explores how and why we remember events, both cultural and personal. Macuga was born and raised in Poland during the Cold War, and in the post-communist years, the cultural history of that period has been intentionally hidden or obscured. Using material from archives, libraries, museums, and other repositories, Macuga creates or recreates monuments to forgotten histories. Often, as with her untitled 2012 commission for the Zachęta National Gallery in Warsaw, Macuga explores incidents that aren’t or can’t be remembered: in that exhibition, she considered the history of state censorship in the arts, displaying images of other artists’ threatened or destroyed works alongside her own unique pieces. Visitors were encouraged to respond with notes that were then included in the exhibition. The public exchange of previously restricted aesthetic, cultural, and intellectual values, aimed to reclaim parts of the nation’s hidden history of artistic rebellion.
Macuga was nominated for the 2008 Turner Prize. Her work has been exhibited at Documenta 13, Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, Kunsthalle Basel, the 53rd Venice Biennale, and the Walker Art Center.