Venue of the exhibition: Gdansk Science&Technology Park
Organizer of the exhibition: Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art
Curated by Torun Ekstrand, Agnieszka Wolodzko 


Artists featured in the exhibition:

Danil Akimov [RU], Oleg Blyablyas [RU], Anna Brag [SE],  Alexey Chebykin [RU], Katerina Cherevko [RU], Dainius Dapkevičius [LT], Astrid Göransson [SE],  Henrik Lund Jörgensen  [DK], Alexander Lyubin + Vassily Kolesnik [RU], Gintaras Makarevicius [LT], Patrycja Orzechowska  [PL], Jurgita Remeikytė [LT],  Paetrick Schmidt [D], Irma Stanaitytė [LT], Laura Stasiulyte [LT], Anna Steller [PL], Łukasz Szałankiewicz [PL], Konstantin Traschenkov [RU], Anton Zabrodin [RU], Katrin Roeber [D], Johan Thurfjell [SE], Alexey Trotsak [RU], Agnieszka Wołodźko [PL], Iwona Zając [PL], Anna Zaradny [PL], Marek Zygmunt [PL].

A unique collaborative of art institutions, academia, museums and sea travelers around the Baltic Sea have gathered with  issues of “narrative” as a starting point. ”Telling the Baltic” is structured into several parts, with a collection of stories as the initial inspiration, workshops for artists and storytellers as the next stage,  and finally an exhibition touring in Europe.  The exhibition will be constantly changing in shape and in the  number of artists and in its placement in different Baltic locations. Its premiere took place in Karlskrona in June 2012, and after Gdansk,  the exhibition will go to Kaliningrad and Rostock.

In his famous essay "The Artist as Ethnographer?" Hal Foster points to the mutual inspiration between ethnographers and postmodern artists. The artist, who, according to Foster, envies the ethnographer an access to the "other" and claims the right to represent the latter in art. Putting such a task before him, the artist uses a methodology similar to the ethnographic one, involving the openness to difference and chance and to an understanding of culture as text. Although Foster is critical  of this practice, he makes an exception for such artistic activities that rely on disclosure of histories on communities with which the artist collaborates. Foster  supports the assumption that out of the field of art, an access to these stories could be difficult.

In the framework  of “Teksty Bałtyku/Telling the Baltic” we have as a reference  stories collected from fishermen, lighthouse keepers, marine scientists, captains, ferry personnel, sailors, islanders and shipyard workers that have been collected by artists, scientists, museum curators and journalists using different methods. There is a chorus of individual voices that have been heard, far from the solemnity of history books. We will find here works that relate to dramatic events, such as Henrik Lund Jörgensen’s [SE / DK] video referring to the fact of the extradition of former Wehrmacht soldiers originating from the Baltic countries, who infiltrated across the sea to Sweden after the war. Or a drama about  the sinking of "Wilhelm Gustloff, " a passenger ship with German refugees on board, which is the subject of Anna Steller’s performance [PL]. There are works referring to local traditions, such as Jurgita Remeikytė’s and  Irma Stanaitytė’s [LT] video about the habit of eating crows on the Curonian Peninsula. There are presentations of different sounds associated with the sea: singing in the work of Laura Stasiulyte [LT], the sounds of fog hooters in the work of Danil Akimov [RU] and Dainius Dapkevičius [LT], mysterious sea murmurs in the work of Łukasz Szałankiewicz [PL]. Finally, there are works which treat on the Baltic Sea with humor. The video of Anna Brag [SE] refers to the superstition about bringing misfortune from  whistling on board ships at  sea.  Paetrick Schmidt’s installation [D] presents Baltic cities as a land of eternal storms.

Project “Telling the Baltic” was organized within the framework of ART LINE – an international art project investigating and challenging the concept of public space. The main purpose is to create a co-operative platform for art and academia around the Baltic Sea. The platform will strengthen the institutions, create opportunities for artists and interact with people in public space. The project period is 2011-2013.

Project’s leader: Blekinge Museum. Partners: Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art, Kunsthalle Rostock, Art. Centre Gallery EL, Gdańsk City Gallery, Baltic Sea Culture Center, Kulturcentrum Ronneby, Karlskrona Konsthall, Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, Kalmar konstmuseum, Baltic Branch NCCA, NGO ArtMission Kaliningrad, Vilnius konstakademi, Nida Art Colony, Stena Line Scandinavia, Region Blekinge.

The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund 85% and by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage 11.25%. 

Welcome to watch a documentary film about "Telling the Baltic" exhbition.

The exhibition is open from Tuesday till Sunday from 12 pm to 6 pm.
Free entrance.

Oleg Blyablyas "Semper domestica mare - Inner sea everywhere"

Irma Stanaityte & Jurgita Remeikyte "Ship"

Katrin Roeber "Move"

Henrik Lund Jörgensen "The Travellers"

Anna Zaradny  "Cosmos of the Fish (Fish in Outer Space)"

Iwona Zając  "Patience"
Municipal Institution of Culture