July 19, 2010 - Wyspa Institute of Art - Grzegorz Klaman: A Subjective Bus Line
July 19, 2010

Grzegorz Klaman: A Subjective Bus Line

Photo: Michał Szlaga

Grzegorz Klaman
A Subjective Bus Line

Runs: 1 May – 12 September 2010
Departures: 11.00 / 14.00

Wyspa Institute of Art
The grounds of the former Gdańsk Shipyard
call + 48 58 573 13 43 for reservation.

“A SUBJECTIVE BUS LINE” is an action in the grounds of the former Gdańsk Shipyard initiated by visual artist Grzegorz Klaman.

Gdańsk Shipyard is a reservoir of collective and individual memory. Its official history is visualised in the shape of diverse forms of commemoration.

“Grzegorz Klaman consciously broadened and split open the crack between the history of the victors, publicly celebrated as the founding myth of the Third Polish Republic, and the Shipyard’s “History 2″, or rather polyphonic histories consigned to the abysses of privacy, deleted for being fluid, subjective, unclear. Official History avoided the daily lives of the same workers whose mythical phantasms were celebrated during anniversary rituals. Their individual fates only deserved a lack of mention or reportage about the burdensome fate of the victims of transformation. Paraphrasing the scathing words of Godard, we are dealing here with an interesting case, where the same group of people in the space of just one decade is first elevated in an epic form and then only deserves a document” writes Kuba Szreder in Klaman’s upcoming monograph.

The Subjective Bus Line project is a kind of meeting with committed people, witnesses and participants in history, those less well known but equally important. The project aims to extract the muted voice, the echo, impressions, whispers, fragments of reminiscences and accounts, and to write them into the current situation and the space of the place.

The grounds of the former Gdańsk Shipyard are undergoing transformation and reconstruction into a new district called the Young City – many constructions and buildings will be demolished, the industrial surroundings are changing dynamically and the project allows participants to become living witnesses of the transformation and its active subjective bearers of remembering into the future.

The first version of this project took place in 2002 within the framework of the International City Transformers Project and in a month it attracted more interested people than a small bus could hold, which clearly convinced us how great the need was to open the former shipyard to visitors. One of Gdańsk’s greatest attractions – the shipyard – is inaccessible and surrounded by a wall. The Subjective Bus Line will open the grounds and bring them closer to being a public space.

Lasting about 90 minutes, the tour of the shipyard on the historic red bus, of a type known in Poland as “cucumber” will begin at a special bus-stop near Gate no. 1. The itinerary will include several selected important places connected with the history of Solidarity and the shipyard. The places and the events will be selected jointly by the visitors and the “guide” escorting them on the day of the trip. The guides include selected former shipyard workers:

Paweł Zieńczuk – long-time worker at Gdańsk Shipyard from 1962, retired shipyard bosun, participant in the strikes, repressed for opposition activities

Jarosław Żurawiński – now tourist guide, journalist, author of books about Gdańsk

Małgorzata Mazur – guide, tour courier, former employee of Gdańsk Shipyard’s construction office, connected for many years with the maritime economy

There are stops in front of: the Historic Gate – the gate to the “Roads to Freedom” exhibition – the former Health and Safety at Work Hall – the former Shipyard Director’s building – the Imperial Dockyard and the waterfront – slipways – Wałęsa’s workplace – the place where Wałęsa jumped over the shipyard wall – the exhibition at the Wyspa Institute of Art.

The project is realized by Wyspa Institute of Art and supported by the City of Gdansk and Cultural Capital of Europe Gdansk 2016 Candidacy.

Wyspa recommends the upcoming book entitled ‘Grzegorz Klaman’, edited by Krzysztof Gutfranski, with text and interviews by Kuba Szreder, Waldemar Baraniewski, Roman Dziadkiewicz, Dieter Roelstraete, Hadas Maor, Gabriela Salgado, Artur Zmijewski, Łukasz Gorczyca, Krzysztof Gutfranski, Kamila Wielebska and Aneta Szylak. The layout was designed by Tomasz Bersz and Marian Misiak.

Wyspa Institute of Art

Wyspa Institute of Art
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