Gdansk, December 2017

Galeria Gdańsk ITD.

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Project by: Simone Basani&Alice Ciresola

 

“GALERIA GDANSK ITD. is a museum working as a shop. Or a shop working as a museum. GALERIA GDANSK ITD. shows a selection of objects designed to tell unheard or invisible narrations given by a group of Gdansk citizens, the ‘tellers’. Narrations about autobiographical turning points, personal revolts, slow realizations and self-healing decisions, ‘etcetera’, ‘I  tak dalej’. Collectively they propose a ‘counter-‘portrait of the city of Gdansk.


GALERIA GDANSK ITD. offers its clients the opportunity of choosing among the selection of limited edition objects the ones they would like to take into their everyday life places. In this way, these so-called *marginal* narrations enter families, offices and friendship networks infiltrating the official one.”

 

Alice Ciresola and Simone Basani – an artist-curator duo – at the residency in LAZNIA CCA, created a project based on building cooperations with local citizens, artists, experts and organizations. They began by collecting stories: those personal, often embarrassing, deeply hidden, omitted. Their aim was to create an alternative vision of the city.  The duo invited local illustrators to transfer the stories of the project participants into the graphic form: first, the local artists participated in meetings with storytellers, and then, as a result of a joint decision, they produced one illustration symbolizing each story.

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From the very beginning, the project’s aim was to create a temporary space. Word “galeria” in Polish can mean both “an art gallery” and “a shopping centre” – and this became the inspiration for the title of the project and the character of the venue. A duo decided to create a place on the border between the shop, meeting point and the gallery, being a place for social discussion. The “gallery”  was opened for four days in an empty space in Wrzeszcz (district in Gdansk, Poland), where the function of the exhibits-products was held by a collection of everyday objects such as: cups, plates, cotton bags, cutting boards. Individualized by printed illustrations-stories they became a part of the exhibition and allowed the story to travel further.

 

“Galeria GdaÅ„sk ITD.” became a place for evening meetings, discussions, lectures and also performances and concerts. During the whole time, the audience could “purchase” items with personal stories of project participants, but not in exchange for money. Every person who wanted to take an object had to share their own history and convince the “seller” that the object is therefore important to him/her.

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At the final stage of the project, the Ciresola-Basani duo decided to expand their gallery concept. The Social Integration Center joined the cooperation, which was involved in the production of new objects with illustrations, within their workshops. This expanded collection of items has started a unique journey through the city. Objects and stories of “Galeria GdaÅ„sk ITD.” were presented in the Market Hall in GdaÅ„sk, still balancing on the border between the art/commercial space. The finale of the project took place at the Center for Social Integration in Nowy Port – through the exhibition of objects, performative actions and further discussions. Thus, the entire residency process of Alice Ciresola and Simone Basani has made a circle, returning to Nowy Port – where the artists started their research a year before.

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photos: Adam Bogdan


Simone Basani and Alice Ciresola (IT/BE) are an artist and curator duo. They create collective services and educational devices for communities and cultural institutions. At the residency in LAZNIA CCA they were working on transcultural and transhistorical narrations conceived by and for Gdansk citizenship, on the border between the museum and the public spaces.

Simone Basani and Alice Ciresola are conducting their project in frames of an artistic residency in LAZNIA CCA between 2016 – 2018.