Open Atelier project in former City Bath in Gdańsk and the Auto da fe gallery

      1992 -1994

realisations in Open Atelier project and Auto da fe gallery


I. The concept of open atelier is a form of work that proved to be correct itself in the Art of 20th century in all big western centres, to mention Paris, Berlin, and New York. Artistic communities starring with "Big Bohema" flourishes at the beginning of our century in first vangauard' activities. Just then artists' workshops became the place of meetings of different art domains representative, program formulating, and likewise common pronouncements, presentations and lectures - loosing no basic functions; creative studio for pictures, sculptures, draftsmanships.
Unformal creative groups like that, usually were linked together by artistic cooperation and mutual influence ideas. Taking possession of old factories on suburbs and transforming them into common Studios, often carried out by neoexpressionists, in eighties, has started at the beginning of 20th century already. As in that time German artists from "Der Blaue Reiter" group have adapted a hall to create there, in common, works which are widely known and admired today. After experiences of expressionists, futurists, Russian constructivists, Fluxus Group, Andy Warhol, Vienna actionalists and neoexpressionists the conception of Open Atelier has become almost universal phenomenon in contemporary art. It is treated as a tested way of working out of common aesthetical and ideological proposals, as a natural, functional method of intellectual exchange and sensibility co-creating. The current example of that can be artistic studio-centres as follows: MUU in Finland /.../, Tacheles in Berlin /.../.As it is known, there were no possibilities in Poland to carry out the Open Atelier Project in eighties. Place like that could come into existence only for the price of renouncement of independence, freedom of formulating and opinions exchange, liberty of creation, but this is the basis of the idea of Open Atelier. And that is why art in Poland has been changing places and revealing in different spaces so often.

II. We want to carry out the Open Atelier Project - to create complex of open painting and sculptures studios, workshops and master ateliers. There are: multimedia gallery /simultaneously concert, projection and lectures hall/, editorial rooms, foundation offices /Totart and Thousand of the Brightest Suns Foundation/, newculture library, club premises, philosophical room, graphic workshops, art objects; storage plant, and music and photo studios in perspective, to accompany the Atelier.
The openness we understand doubly: as an art presentation way /shows in workshops/ and as inviting artists to cooperate within existing possibilities.
We thus want to create basis for artistic exchange on a big scale, even International in Baltic Sea Region. We are seriously engaged in Project realisation and convinced about it's inpensability for contemporary art in Gdańsk. Our several-year experiences are a guarantee of reality and importance of this venture. At the same time we underline it's big perspective significance. Open Atelier has a chance to become a place of creative ferment, values elaborating.

III. City Baths
This monumental building, 1500 m2 area, is placed in Gdańsk Dolne Miasto district by Jaskółcza Street 1 and for three years has been not used and laid wasted.
Gdańsk, 10th May, 1992

The aims of the OPEN ATELIER
Foundation /excerpts from the 2nd chapter of The Statute of the OPEN ATELIER Foundation, entitled 'The aims, the principles and the forms of the activity of the foundation'/:

&7 - The Foundation aims at supporting the creative activity, providing places and conditions for free artistic creation by establishing structures adequate to the visions and practical needs of artists.

&8 - The Foundation fulfils its aims by
- organising studios, ateliers and places for plain-air,
- finding places and providing conditions necessary for the achievement of the aims of the foundation,
- organising artistic events: exhibitions, presentations, plain-air painting, concerts.

As a part of the structure of Open Atelier /together with Island and Tot Art/, the team of the Gallery C14~~~ organised an exposition of works in the former City Baths during the Days of the Independent in Gdańsk in 23 - 26.10.1992. The exhibition took also place in the gallery Sphinx, gallery "The Painter of Women Project" and in PGS Sopot.
October 1992 - the take-over of the building of the former City Baths in 1, Jaskółcza Street in Dolne Miasto. Organisation of the exhibition the Days of the Independent in Gdańsk. In 1993 M. Rogulski organised the activity of the gallery Auto Da Fe, in the place of the former Baths - financed by the TNS Foundation.
October 1993 - "Auto Da Fe - the Genius of Love" - J. Charchan, M. Jabłoński, M. Lewandowski, M. Rogulski, A. Szymula. - art of object, installations, concert and action Thousand Brightest Suns. W. Szczepanik produced a film for the program 2 of TVP.
April 1994 - "Laboratory" - J. Charchan, M. Rogulski. - art of object, concert of TNS.
The project of Open Ateliers has been carried out for somewhat less than two years. However, the City did not extend the tenancy contract and further realisation of the idea of free artistic creation within the project of Open Atelier was impossible.
After the final fall of the project of Open Atelier, the leaders of the former Gallery C14~~~ followed their own ways. In 1995 Marek Rogulski created the gallery Spichrz 7 in the granary "Deo Gloria" on the Isle of Granaries in Gdańsk. Since 1996 the Gallery can be found also in the Internet. A. Awsiej and J. Kabala, after having moved to Holland, developed their own gallery "Galeriee van Gdansk" already existing in the Internet.


in the Prior City Baths


In the manifest of the gallery published by "Wydawnictwo Sz, sz, sz..." one can read: "The Gallery of Vibration Auto Da Fe constituted itself in 1993 as an exterior mental formation. The inception of the gallery results from the need of the expression of certain mental space. /.../ A space aiming at constant structuralisation - expressed in a way free from numerous restrictions existing in the present systems of artistic presentations."

The gallery was activated in the process of the realisation of the project Open Atelier in the former City Bath. It was then that the artists connected with the foundation of Thousand Brightest Suns manifested their own strategy of action based on the maintenance of the highest possible autonomy of the centre in the Baths. This autonomy was to manifest itself especially with regard to the existing cultural institutions, and in keeping the right to decide about Open Atelier on their own. From the artistic point of view, the core of the gallery's activity was paying attention to a certain aspect of artistic activity being in the centre of interest of TNS. "So we are facing now the Mights of Ego/ Self/, revealing themselves on the verge of the third millennium. The Gallery of Vibrations "Auto Da Fe" is an energetic transmitter, changing forms and undergoing projection. It is an autonomous and audacious being- in this way it consists a component of the processes of the cosmic Auto Da Fe, "the artists wrote in their manifesto. Only the firm foundation of experience in its colorful entity allows standing and seizing bravely the Last Things, where the wings of cosmos created: one - Apocalypse and the second - The Dance of the Dead." "There is nothing. There is no time. There is only is. This is what you can think of. Pure creation. Infinity of dimensions. Happening infinitely and constantly. Can be in micro - and macro - universes, which assume and lose shape."
Prepared by T. Łukowski.

In 1998 the Foundation TNS and Gallery SPIŢ 7 worked out a plan of Multifunctional Centre of Modern Art - "Experimental Studios" - referring in its character to the primary conception of Open Atelier.