In December 2009 new works of art appeared in the area of the Lower Town district. They were realised as a part of The Outdoor Gallery of the City of Gdansk project.
The first piece that was completed was Invisible Gate by Front Studio group from New York. It is yet another work of art, beside LKW Gallery studio, (and not the last) to be realised in the space of the flyover situated by Szopy street.
Invisible Gate was awarded with the 2nd honorary mention in the 1st International Competition of the Outdoor Gallery of the City of Gdansk in 2005 for the successful attempt at levelling the divisions between the Old Town and the Lower Town.
Invisible Gate aims to abolish the physical barriers while being typically minimalist in its form, materials and architecture and displaying a high level of symbolism. By covering part of the flyover with steel lining in the form of mirrors it gives a new value to the Lower Town and in a way it remedies the mistake of those who designed the flyover and divided the two town districts. It physically and metaphorically brightens up the space under the flyover and makes it feel wider. The advantage of this is its fragmentary character, showing the contrast between what is decorating and what is marring the city organism.
It is also a monumental project in its scale, having an influence on the whole city, giving it a new meaning. Invisible Gate is characterised by its wide symbolism in the form of mirrors, reflections, multiplied images of people, architecture and the river which altogether give a wide field for interpretation. It is worth emphasising that the play of light at various times of day and the change of colours also serves as an aesthetic and sensual virtue. Moreover, this work is surprising and its location will encourage tourists to overcome the “non-existent” barrier and to visit the Lower Town.
The re-design of this place will be completed after the installation of Amber Drops by Daniel Schlaepfer and Fred Hatt – the project awarded with the 2nd prize in the 3rd edition of the The Outdoor Gallery of the City of Gdansk competition.
The second project realised in December 2009 is Staging Anonymous by Dominik Lejman (Poland) – a piece that was awarded in the 2nd edition of the Outdoor Gallery competition in 2007. This light installation is integrated with the space of the underground passage situated at Łąkowa and Podwale Przedmiejskie streets crossing.
Lejman spins “underground scenarios”, but paradoxically they are far from being dark; he illuminates underground spaces, dispelling all illusions. He creates light illumination where he invites passers-by so that they could unexpectedly find themselves in the spotlight and act in a social performance of fast and soundless passing each other in an urban space, fully conscious of the game. Just as no strong light accents are associated with the underground, similarly a passer-by does not act in a film; this is a real-fiction of the social world. Thanks to light, a grey tunnel with grey people in the space-time continuum of march comes alive and acquires painterly qualities and softness. Though the feeling of coldness stays the same and the obligation to reach your destination on time is just as hasty as it was before.
The anonymous spectacle directed by Lejman is complemented by an illusive image of a staircase which gradually vanishes as the passers-by are approaching it. The image is situated on the wall by the tunnel’s exit from the side of the Lower Town and constitutes an accurate, mirror-like reflection of the exit staircase on the opposite side – the staircase that leads to the Old Town, the area attractive for tourists as well as for citizens, which as a district is commonly perceived as a complete contradiction to the Lower Town.
The author describes his work in the categories of creating circumstances for the conscious dramatization of public life. “The surroundings we live in become more like a stage design, where the superficiality of a photo “background” becomes more important than its real dimension. (…) By analogy with such an understanding of the surroundings, the function of public art which becomes more significant might be the one of “de-design”, as formulated by Voto Acconci, that is an action aimed at changing the perception of places we live in rather than at adding new forms – object which merely multiply the stage design of the surroundings”.
The official launching of the both artworks will take place on 14 May 2010 and it will be combined with the beginning of the next season of artistic and educational workshops held in LKW Gallery studio within the framework of The Outdoor Gallery of the City of Gdansk project.
In the summer of 2010 we are also intending to complete the second project awarded in the 2nd edition of the Outdoor Gallery competition – “Untitled” by Esther Stocker (Austria). This piece will also be situated in the space of the underground passage at Łąkowa and Podwale Przedmiejskie crossing and it will constitute a strong architectonic structure co-existing with the ephemeral installation by Dominik Lejman.
The projects awarded in the 3rd edition of the competition will be realised in 2011 („Amber Drops” by Daniel Schlaepfer and Fred Hatt, Switzerland) and in 2012 („Scent of Colour” by Carmen Einfinger, USA and „Leader Swing” by Fernando Sanchez Castillo, Spain).