THIS troublesome, uncomfortable and questionable RELEVANCE of ART IN PUBLIC SPACE. In Search Of a Possible Paradigm



We have the pleasure to inform you that our symposium THIS TROUBLESOME, UNCOMFORTABLE AND QUESTIONABLE RELEVANCE OF ART IN PUBLIC SPACE which was held on 23-24 November 2012 at the industrial space of Fabryka Batycki was a success. Laznia CCA had a opportunity to present to a broader, international audience the results of realization of The Outdoor Gallery of Gdansk project. The guests who gathered at the conference had a chance to exchange their ideas and experience and discuss which roles artists, curators and architects can actually play in revitalizing and regenerating public space.

Adam Budak and Chantal Mouffe, fot. Iwona Pankowska&Robert Suszko

The symposium was commenced with a guided tour to The Outdoor Gallery of the City of Gdansk projects in Lower Town district with Adam Budak and Jacek Dominiczak. Then curators of the event: Julia Draganovic, Adam Budak and Director of Laznia CCA officially opened the symposium. After that, the key-note speaker of the symposium, Chantal Mouffe, gave her lecture entitled Critical Artistic Practices as Counter-Hegemonic Interventions, which was certainly the highlight of the event.
The next element of the day was presenting of the winning projects of the 5th edition of The Outdoor Gallery of the City of Gdansk competition realized in cooperation with Pomorskie Metropolitan Rail – the works by Anna Waligorska, Hans Peter Kuhn and Andrea Mastrovito.
The first day was closed by a performance by Maria Papadimitriou Over! Leftover. The participants of the symposium joined her tailoring workshop to sew together bags for travelers using pieces of recycled fabric.


Mel Chin during ‘Over! Leftover’ performance, fot. Iwona Pankowska&Robert Suszko

On Saturday the symposium was divided into two parts. The first session was opened by a lecture from Mika Hannula Politics, Identity and Public Space –Critical Reflections In and Through the Practices of Contemporary Art, followed by a panel discussion entitled Close Encounters. Strategies of Collaboration. Its participants (Mel Chin, Fulya Erdemci, Tone Hansen, Barbara Holub, Aneta Szylak, Joanna Warsza) presented their public art practices, focusing on questions like: what are the strategies to access existing knowledge systems and to foster collaboration between different stakeholders? Which are the current best-practice models?
The afternoon session started with a lecture by Simon Sheikh Intervention, Interruption, Disruption, Pause. Possible Approaches to Artistic and Curatorial Strategies and Tactics to Public Art in the Post-Public Condition. It was followed by a panel discussion entitled Museum without Museum. Tactics of Emancipation and Autonomy. Panelists (Cecilia Alemani, Claire Doherty, Bert Theis, Maria Papadimitriou, Mirjam Varadinis) pondered the question, how far public art was a complement or an alternative to museums and reflecting on strategies of enhancement for self-organization.
At the end all participants of the symposium joined in the lively discussion which summed up both sessions.

The whole conference was concluded by a beautiful music recital by a singer-songwriter from Gdansk – Asia i Koty and by spontaneous, but nevertheless brilliant, music performances by Mel Chin and Director of Mudam Luxemburg Enrico Lunghi, which brought great joy and good humour to everybody.

Cecilia Alemani and Julia Draganovic, fot. I. Pankowska & R. Suszko

Tone Hansen, Barbara Holub, Joanna Warsza, Chantal Mouffe, fot. I. Pankowska & R. Suszko



On 24 November, as a part of the accompanying film programme, we presented at Laznia CCA films by Yorgos Sapountzis “Forgotten Tactic” (2006), “Knock Knock Monument” (2004) and a film by Raphaël Zarka “Gibellina Vecchia” (2010).
On Sunday 25 Nov, from 12pm till 6pm, we are projecting 2 films by Suzanne Lacy “Code 33″ (50 minutes) and “Crystal Quilt” (50 minutes).
On Wednesday 27 Nov, from 12pm till 6pm, there’s a screening of films presenting Mel Chin’s actions: “Fundred” and “Paydirt” as well as a film by Mariette Schiltz & Bert Theis “ISOLA NOSTRA” (59 minutes).

Mel Chin “Operation Paydirt” from on Vimeo.



We have just started free conference registration. If you wish to take part in the symposium, please fill in the form: registration form DOC | registration form PDF and then send it to the following email address:
Registration closes on 19 November 2012 at 12pm. ADMISSION FREE!


The symposium entitled “THIS UNCOMFORTABLE, TROUBLESOME, CONDITIONAL RELEVANCE OF ART IN PUBLIC SPACE | In Search for a Possible Paradigm” will be held in the industrial space of Fabryka Batycki in The Lower Town district of Gdansk, in a building situated just round the corner from Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art on 23-24 November 2012. This historical district is undergoing revitalisation process and it’s also the area where The Outdoor Gallery of The City of Gdansk project is realised by Laznia CCA.