December 16, 2014 - Wyspa Institute of Art - Garden of Everyday Errors: Alternativa 2014 closing soon
December 16, 2014

Garden of Everyday Errors: Alternativa 2014 closing soon

Jacek Niegoda, The Model for the Economics of
, Alternativa 2014. Photo: J. Bartołowicz.
Courtesy Wyspa Progress Foundation.

Alternativa 2014
Garden of Everyday Errors

1 January–31 December 2014

Wyspa Institute of Art
Doki 1/145b
80-958 Gdansk

With the last day of the year Garden of Everyday Errors—the 2014 edition of Alternativa—is coming to an end. Initiated in 2010, Alternativa is an annual project concerned with the location of curatorial practice. Formed and nurtured on the former premises of the Gdansk shipyard it bears in mind the greater, overarching processes and global events but continues to ask questions about the nature of vernacularities. What has concerned us in the first half of the decade since Alternativa began were labor conditions, material practice, found forms, alternative social organizations and economies as well as utopian thinking among other subjects of interest. We addressed the role of wars in the global spread of capital. Finally we have entered the problems of everydayness, a nature of quotidian practices—a matter which will be explored further in the year to come. 

Garden of Everyday Errors Alternativa 2014 program was curated by Béatrice Josse, Marysia Więckiewicz-Carroll and Aneta Szyłak as its artistic director. This year the edition was comprised of four chapters—two of which were group shows and two individual projects by Oliver Ressler and Hito Steyerl. 

Oliver Ressler is a key artist in shaping our thinking about matters of alternative forms of social and economic organization and environmental life. How can we get organized? What is our relation to power structures? What are the economic links and dependencies? How, if at all, can these conditions be thought of anew? Oliver has returned to Wyspa to present his individual and collaborative projects and provide us with insight into the number of important social movements responding to the global economic crisis. The exhibition presented examples of the brutal implementation of a neoliberal order in post-​​communist countries and broad international perspectives on democracy. The exhibition Political Imaginaries: Making the World Anew posed a series of questions around violence and resistance, a matter which we need to revisit in the context of the recent political situation.

Everdayness, curated by Beatrice Josse and Aneta Szyłak, was dedicated to minuscule gestures, repetitive chores, volatile forms, intimate moments and disappearing words. What is “nearness” and what does “being together” mean? We observe atmospheres of togetherness. What is the everydayness, raptured as it is by the brisk appearance of something unusual, beautiful and rare? We are interested in the pragmatics and poetics of the simple form. The extraordinary in the ordinary. But also we question how repetitions, working according to a predefined conduct, reinforce hidden orders of oppression, violence and economic dominance. Everydayness consists of complex, predominant organizational strategies and the micro-​​tactics of survival, those that infiltrate the cracks in the system.

The artists list included: Chantal Akerman, Helena Almeida, Maria Thereza Alves, Emanuelle Antille, Kader Attia, Patty Chang, Edith Dekynd, Alicia Framis, Yona Friedman, Marco Godinho, Rebeen Hamarafiq, Maria Laet, Hiwa K, Alicja Karska i Aleksandra Went, Igor Krenz, Honorata Martin, Anette Messager, Gianni Pettena, Ed Pien, Józef Robakowski, Martha Rosler, Raeda Sa’adeh, Ania Witkowska and Julita Wójcik.

Outside of 90B Hall there were outdoor interventions by Elżbieta Jabłońska, Lendlabor,  Michał Znojek and Jacek Niegoda in the proximity of the exhibition space and around the Wyspa Institute of Art. Performative interventions of the project included Barbara Gamper, Anna Kalwajtys with the teamand Jean-​​Christoph Norman.

Otherwise curated by Marysia Więckiewicz-Carroll focused on the conditions of contemporary workers and the rise of the “precariat” in the context of the historical changes brought about by the events of 1989 in order to reflect on the short-​​lived potential of a common world free from the hegemony of any systems; the once-​​imagined possibility of things happening otherwise. The artist in the show were Ella de Burca, Kennedy Browne, Marta Fernandez Calvo, Jesse Jones, Seamus Nolan, and Elaine Reynolds.

Hito Steyerl‘s Abstract provides us with insight into the practice of an artist who continually asks the question: what does it mean to be visible or invisible in a time of recording, scanning and surveillance, when all of our moves and activities are being documented and systematically used, often without our knowledge and/​or permission, in a militarized and profit-​​oriented reality. We can see a collage of various technological languages in her works, along with aesthetics of recording and persuasion, entangling us through a continual flow of capitalized information. The artist sketches the relationship between seemingly disparate domains of knowledge; she can precisely, scrupulously and painfully mimic various forms of communication.

Open Garden made by the collective Lendlabor with collaboration with the locals from the neighborhood provided a public space and sealed the spatial wounds in the Shipyard that continues to be demolished. This is a space we will continue to use and treat as a manifestation of life over ownership.

Alternativa 2014 was created in collaboration with Frac Lorraine in Metz, the City of Gdansk, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as well as Grupa Azoty Zakłady Chemiczne “Police” S.A. Additional support was provided by Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (IFA) in Stuttgart, Culture Ireland, and the Austrian Cultural Forum in Warsaw.

The opening date of the 2015 Alternativa is June 12. More information will soon be unveiled. 

Garden of Everyday Errors: Alternativa 2014 closing soon
Wyspa Institute of Art
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