Gdansk, Poland. The Art Line Final Conference February, 4, 2014, was attended by more than 80 invited guests, representatives of the five countries and 14 culture institutions participating in the project. There were also people coming from other countries around the Baltic, as this was a great opportunity for networking and discussing future cooperation.
The Final Conference was opened by the director of the hosting Laznia CCA, Jadwiga Charzyńska, who warmly welcomed all the guests. After this, Anna Czekanowicz director of the Director of Office for Culture in Gdansk praised the Art Line project, saying “this is not the end, since the experiences you have gained will enable you to face new challenges”. She also foresaw future involvement from the City of Gdansk.
The author and Director of Culture at the Marshall of Pomeranian Region Office Władysław Zawistowski represented the Pomeranian district. He drew parallels between the Art Line project and the art projects initiated after the cold war and expressed great joy that such a cross border cooperation has been possible. He expressed hopes for continued contact and cooperation and inspiration. “My wish is that Art Line is a line that connects us”, he said.
Anna Ceynowa from the Polish Ministry of Culture expressed her joy to be able to be present at the Final Conference and stressed the fact that Art Line is not just any project, but a Flagship in the EU. She also reminded the audience that her ministry, along with the authorities in German district Schleswig-Holstein last year succeeded in their efforts to make culture a priority area in the Baltic Sea Strategy.
Communication and information manager Vassilen Iotzov respresented the South Baltic Cross-Border Co-operation Programme. He underlined the value of all the experience gathered during the Art Line years and the good cooperation. Art Line, he said, can serve as a model for other projects. It has made a long lasting impression on the Joint Technical Secretariat. He regarded Art Line as a treasure chest for ideas for future cooperation. He mentioned the from their perspective very interesting part where Art Line arranged exhibitions and projects on board the Stena Line ferries and hence reached many people. He thanked the project manager Torun Ekstrand for her work and especially mentioned the catalogue which was presented this very day.
Torun Ekstrand started her presentation of the Art Line project by showing a short video, made by the artist Nicola Bergström Hansen. “I want you to tell everybody about dreams for the future”, said Torun Ekstrand. She also had an example of such dreams: a ship, touring the Baltic Sea, which is an art center, interdisciplinary laboratory and an artist’s residence at the same time. She also said that the Art Line project is far from over: “there will be workshops tomorrow and different types of activities during the following weeks.” Torun Ekstrand concluded with the hope that everybody could feel that they through this project belongs not only to one, but to several countries. Her thank you to all participants in the project was followed by the longest and warmest round of applauds during the whole conference.
Now the Art Line catalogue was presented by the designers and artists Klaudia Wrzask and Mateusz Pek. The online version drew a lot of attention. Klaudia Wrzask commented that the project is graphically presented and that several hundreds of artists and other participants are there, and that more will be added soon since there are many more lecturers, theorists and people in this large project. Klaudia Wresk also told how impressed she was after having made the acquaintance of Art Line and its cooperation for example with science. She also spoke warmly about the fact that Art Line has been very open and friendly to “ordinary people”, and strongly hoped that the idea will live on.
The program continued with a presentation of the artwork Baltic Agora, where you as a website visitor becomes a builder of an Online Baltic Agora. The artwork is made from a topographic map of the Baltic Sea in reverse, where the deepest bottom of the sea is the highest peak. Documentaries from Art Line-projects were shown. The participants were invited for a walk and a bus tour to the Art Line partner institutions Gdansk City Gallery in several locations and to the new Laznia CCA in Nowy Port to see the exhibitions, among them artworks produced during Art Line. There was a performance at St Johns church with the artists Barbara Konopka and Weronika Kami who performed Pentarosa. Later in the evening the audiovisual event “Baraka” was performed. This is a combination of the film “Baraka” by R. Fricke and a mind blowing musical performance by Pawel Nowicki, vibraphone, percussion, synth; Jacek Buhl, drums: Wojciech Jachna, trumpet, electronic devices and Marcin Dymiter, electronic devices.
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