video still
Courtesy Exchange Gallery and WRO Art Center

In the mid-1980s, Józef Robakowski made a number of video clips for the Polish underground punk rock band Moskwa. The group, which was founded in Łódz´ in 1983 during the period of martial law imposed under Jaruzelski, symbolized a very successful youth revolt against the regime, both with its provocative name (it was sometimes abbreviated to M-kwa by the state-run media) and its song lyrics, which described the actual situation under socialism without pulling any punches. Robakowski’s videos juxtapose found-footage material—a film showing Soviet military parades, First of May parades, the cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin or the famous staircase scene from Sergei Eisenstein’s The Battleship Potemkin—with pictures of the band and its star-shaped logo. The images are heavily adapted and distorted to correspond to the music with its frequent changes of rhythm. Image and sound merge to create a radical gesture of liberation.


  • original Title: Moskwa
  • Date: 1985 – 1986
  • Genre: Video

This work is issued in following texts