“Close Stranger” in Kaliningrad
The final art exhibition “Close Stranger” presents the works of contemporary artists from Lithuania, Russia and Poland which were conceived specially for this event in 2013-2014.
“Close Stranger” is first of all a research project that tries to interpret and create a generalized image of the neighboring territories, time, people, cities, landscape, etc. During their 10-day residencies each artist had an opportunity to study the urban and mental space of a place that differs from his or her habitual environment, a place that has become an object of their artistic interest and social and cultural interaction.
The project accentuates the close neighborhood of Russia (Kaliningrad), Poland (Gdansk) and Lithuania (Klaipeda) in the first place and allows the viewer to apprehend and feel the country and people living nearby through a prism provided by contemporary artists who address real issues and problems. Having acquired the focus of an artist’s attention everyday typical qualities of a specific region become outstanding. “Close stranger” is saturated with a number of locations and stories that bring together St.John’s Cathedral in Klaipeda, the Prussian tradition of accompanying souls of the dead, shop tours from Kaliningrad to Lithuania and Poland, the feeling of the lost city of Koenigsberg, lady Alexandra – a vendor at a souvenir shop at the Gdansk shipyard who decorates the entrance to the cradle of the “Solidarity” movement with fresh flowers, and a counting rhyme “abracadabra” that was once played by all the children in the yard – Lithuanians, Russians and Polish.
By means of superposing the contents of “close” and “stranger” the project explores naturally or artificially formed contradictions, stereotypes and prejudices that accompany the territorial neighborhood. It also reveals the “common” – that which makes us close and attractive. The exhibition will offer its version of such duality that at the same time brings together and tears apart the three contries. “Are we close or are we strangers?” The question to answer is also “What in fact do we know about each other?”
Contemporary world is obviously an environment where worldviews, values, ways of living, strategies and traditions are passed over as smoothly as possible to create an illusion that we’re all alike, except for minor differences. The project is built on the idea that “we’re common but different”. The more different we are, the more interesting we are for each other.
The exhibition „Close Stranger“ is a part of the project “Close Stranger: promoting mutual understanding between population of Gdansk, Kaliningrad and Klaipeda through facilitation of exchange in the field of contemporary arts and culture“ implemented within the framework of „ENPI Cross-border Cooperation programme 2007-2013 for Lithuania, Poland and Russian Federation“, where BB NCCA participates as a partner.
Opening: 6th June, 2014, 6.00 pm
Location: BB NCCA, Attic of “Kronprinz” Barracks (Litovskij val 38, entrance №6, 4th floor)
Organizers: The Baltic Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (Kaliningrad, Russia), The Centre for Contemporary Arts «Laznia» (Gdansk, Poland), Klaipeda Culture Communication Centre (Lithuania)
Curators: Ignas Kazakevicius (KCCC, Klaipeda), Irina Tchesnokova (BB NCCA, Kaliningrad), Agnieszka Wołodźko (CCA «Laznia», Gdansk)
Opening hours: 6th June – 29th June, 2014, 17:00-20:00, closed on Mondays.
Contacts: Andrey Efits (+7 921 263 56 00, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Recommended age category: 16+
Financial support of the project: European Union, Lithuania-Poland-Russia ENPI Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2007-2013
Jacek Niegoda and Julita Wójcik refused to exhibit their works in Kaliningrad.