Personal stories and art – a fruitful meeting

Starting in March 2014, Blekinge museum opens an exhibition summarizing one of the many ventures of the project Art Line, namely Telling the Baltic ( TTB ). TTB began back in 2011 when Art Line was brand new and has been a very exciting way to interact. People who rarely have had a voice in the art scene is here inspiring a group of artists. These have then created a joint exhibition which has been touring in the five countries included in the project Art Line.

TTB is a unique collaboration between museums, art institutions , academies, nearly 30 artists and hundreds of storytellers . There were several phases in this work: 1) collection, interviews 2) Workshop in Blekinge and Nida Art Colony in Lithuania 3) A touring exhibition . Participating institutions included the Blekinge Institute of Technology , Kunsthalle Rostock , Vilnius Academy of Art , Centre for Contemporary Art , Gdansk ; NCCA Kaliningrad. Stories were submitted by journalists, scholars and artists. With the exhibition at Blekinge museum 2014 the circle is closed. For it was here that the first exhibition opened in the summer of 2012.

It was a fantastic show with a variety of expressions. No one involved will forget the performance by the Polish artist Anna Steller held in the museum’s Baroque Garden – “unrelenting beauty of disaster” . It’s a performance about one of the worst maritime disasters ever. The German refugee ship Wilhelm Gustloff was torpedoed in 1945 and 9000 people died in about an hour.

It is also worth mentioning that the TTB when it appeared in the Russian region of Kaliningrad, the exhibition was cleverly integrated with the regular permanent exhibition on The Museum of the World ‘s Oceans in Kaliningrad. It was very successful , although one or other visitors to the museum may have been surprised to find contemporary art among the “ordinary” objects . Simultaneously, this meeting between museum objects and contemporary art is a reminder that the line between “truth” and fiction is not in any way obvious .

The exhibition wandered around to all five countries involved in the project Art Line. In the summer of 2013 it was divided into two equal parts that could be experienced on Stena Line ferries Vision and Spirit , which operates the Karlskrona- Gdynia line – a true “art line”.

The idea of the stories was that they would serve as sources of inspiration. But pretty soon it turned out that they could live their own life. They will appear in an on-line exhibition which will open in March. So if you want to read stories, watch movies , listen to interviews , soon it will be possible! Look at Art Line’s website ( where we , among other things, that a link to this virtual exhibition):

http://artline-southbaltic.eu

Torun Ekstrand, project manager