LAZNIA 2 2015 - Line Boogaerts
Line Boogaerts
They almost missed it, 2015

video, HDV, looped, colour
Residency period: January -  March 2015
Curators: Agnieszka Kulazińska, Aleksandra Księżopolska, Marjoleine Maes
It was from Hotel Heweliusz (currently Mercure) in Gdańsk that foreign journalists looked out at the strikes in the Lenin Shipyard in 1980. They sent out their reports from this location to the rest of the world.  At that time, this hotel was a symbolic, capitalist island inside the communist system.

The window through which the journalists looked down was the barrier between the inside and the outside, like a boundary between two contrasting worlds: journalists on one hand and striking shipyard workers on the other. Communication between them was difficult because information was often censored.
The window functioned as a screen: the foreign journalists were outsiders who watched the demonstrations. They were safely ensconced behind a glass wall in the hotel, while downstairs the shipyard workers were fighting for their rights. This revolution gave rise to a turnaround in Europe.

The window formed a border between two public spaces, a boundary between two realities, two systems. Line Boogaerts has created her own in-between world as an effect of a guerrilla action in the hotel. The artist set up a temporary studio in one of the hotel rooms rented precisely for this purpose. She painted a temporary image on the window of the room. She conjured images based on testimonies and pictures that referred to the events of those times. These are images that the Belgian journalists almost missed because they were not aware of the importance of the upheaval. The title was inspired by an article that Line Boogaerts encountered in the Belgian press while researching the subject.
We would like to thank European Centre for Solidarity for enabling the artist to use their archives in the creation of this work.
They almost missed it was realised as part of Meanwhile … the city
 Line Boogaerts ‘s residency took place in the frames of the Flanders Week 2015.
Municipal Institution of Culture