Alternativa 2012: Materiality/Now Is Now

Art Monthly, September 2012 | Go to article overview

Alternativa 2012: Materiality/Now Is Now


Wyspa Institute of Art Gdansk' 25 May to 30 September

Since September 2004, the Wyspa Institute of Art - located in the grounds of the Gdansk' Shipyard - has been the home of the Wyspa Progress Foundation, an artistic organisation combining the presentation of contemporary art with reflections on the shape of social culture. Wyspa itself has grown out of the activities of artists in Gdansk' in the second half of the 1980s, who first began to stage installations and performances in the roofless ruins of Granary Island - a desolate pocket of land in the centre of the city - in May 1987.

The move to the shipyard has brought Wyspa into a complex relationship with Poland's post-transformation neoliberal economy. The physical character of the former VI Lenin Gdansk' Shipyard (now simply Stocznia Gdanska)' is overwhelming. The site, the cranes, the massive shipbuilding sheds, have a visceral effect - immediately evoking the legendary political events of the early 1980s - resonant, melancholy, above all material. The dockyard provokes one to search for meaning in all its complex contradictions, from the activities of the development companies currently sweeping away swathes of industrial heritage to make way for the development of a 'new city', to the realisation that one of these developers is the owner of the vast warehouse in which the Alternativa exhibition is currently housed, and the sponsor, with Gdansk' City Council, of the Subjective Bus Line that takes visitors on tours around the site, guided by the personal stories of former dockyard workers.

Alternativa describes itself as 'a two-year pilot programme, which aims at the establishment of a recurring large-scale, knowledge-based and politically informed curatorial practice'. Like certain UK initiatives - Glasgow International, the Liverpool Biennial and Folkestone Triennial in particular - it represents a home grown, ongoing and rooted approach to the making of an international contemporary art exhibition - and an alternative to the travelling brand of 'Manifesta'. It aspires to attract the attention of the international art world, but is also deeply attentive to its local context and to the political traditions of Gdansk'. It sees itself as concerned as much with investigation and acquisition of knowledge as it is with exhibition and display.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The current Alternativa is the second chapter in this story. The first, launched in May 2011, was built around two themes: 'Labour and Leisure' and 'Estrangement'. The materiality of the Gdansk' Shipyard, and its imminent transformation into a place of immaterial labour - or perhaps of privatised leisure - has provided the cue for this year's principal exhibition, an investigation of the theme of 'Materiality', while a second, smaller exhibition considers the history of independent artist-led activity in Gdansk' since the 1980s, taking its title 'Now is Now' from a two-day exhibition on Granary Island in October 1988.

Both exhibitions are marked by a high degree of sophistication in their curatorial approach. 'Now is Now' is a compelling demonstration of the problematics of historical recovery. It addresses the Wyspa Progress Foundation's archive as a kind of layered archeology, a palimpsest of fugitive traces. Photos, press cuttings, books, magazines and other documents from the archive are gathered under four headings - Location, Meeting, Labour and Myth - presented in stacked and scattered trays made from wooden pallets roughly glazed and lit by Anglepoise lamps. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Alternativa 2012: Materiality/Now Is Now
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.