Gdansk, September 2018

Joshua Schwebel: “Evictions”


Artistic residency: Joshua Schwebel

July – October 2018
LAZNIA 2 Center for Contemporary Art
Joshua Schwebel’s project ‘Evictions’ is the result of a long-term residence, which began in 2016. It is part of the ‘Artecitya’ project, which focuses on the diversity of changes in urban space and the related social, cultural and economic transformations. The activities carried out as part of ‘Artecitya’ were aimed at analysing local issues and getting accustomed with the specificity of a place. Schwebel’s proposal stands somewhat in opposition to the residency premise – the artist emphasizes and questions the lack of possibility for an outsider to engage in local problematics or to understand the context of the district, particularly one such as Nowy Port that might be described as indifferent to contemporary art. His project questions the implication of art centres in revitalization programs and draws attention to the instrumentalization of art and its role in gentrification processes.
Poor dialogue between local actors and low interest of local residents in contemporary art became obvious as a result of numerous study visits conducted by the artist. Joshua Schwebel’s proposal assumes a temporary displacement of employees and an exchange of offices between three local organizations for a period of one month. As part of ‘Evictions’, cooperation is to be held between employees of the Social Integration Center in Gdańsk, Youth 180° and LAZNIA CCA.
The strengthening of contacts between employees of various institutions each, through their own methods and capacities, engaged in the public culture of the district will be an excuse to raise more current topics and create dynamics for exchange. It will become a tool for sharing resources, building communities, organizing a different dimension of cooperation and problem solving. Through this exchange and opening of LAZNIA CCA to other functions, ‘Evictions’ hopes redefine the status of LAZNIA CCA in the district.