Slava Polishchuk

Russian-born artist preserves the past as book and paper conservator at Brooklyn College Library

Interviewer:
Interviewee:
Slava Polishchuk
Interview Date:
November 2015

Languages

This interview was conducted and recorded in Russian. Read Mark Markov's transcript and translation below. 

Artist Slava Polishchuk is a Bensonhurst resident who lived in Moscow for 20 years before emigrating to New York with his wife and artistic collaborator Asya Dodina in 1996. He recounts his reasons for emigrating, the mix of art and politics in Moscow in the 1990s, and life as an artist in Moscow and New York. Trained in conservation at the Moscow School of Art and Industry (former Stroganoff School), Polishchuk began working in the archives at Brooklyn College as a student. After graduating with a master's degree in art, he was offered the job of conservator, and established the newly built Brooklyn College Library's book and paper conservation laboratory, the only one of it kind in the City University of New York system. Polishchuk talks about the archives, which has over 300 collections, including Coney Island history, and the challenges of restoring, preserving, and displaying the materials.

This program is part of the Cultural Immigrant Initiative supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York City Councilman Mark Treyger.