LAZNIA Center for Contemporary Art
LAZNIA Centre for Contemporary Art was one of the first public cultural institutions established in Poland after the transformations of 1989. It began as an initiative by local independent artists opposed to traditional models of art. An old and dilapidated former public bathhouse in Lower Town district in Gdansk, Poland, turned out to be an ideal space for showing art. In response to a grassroots initiative by artists, in 1998 the Gdansk City Council designated it a municipal cultural institution. LAZNIA Centre for Contemporary Art is guided by its mission of showing and promoting contemporary art as a means of expressing universal values, and an element of world cultural heritage. The centre does so by showing the latest developments in contemporary art, showing the process of change that art is undergoing, engaging cultural and social phenomena taking place around the world, and educating the public about these issues. In LAZNIA CCA’s program there is space for promotion of young and independent art, as well as for cooperation with well-established ones, such as: Gerhard Richter, Gilbert&George, Stelarc, Damien Hirst.
In 2012, an affiliate in Nowy Port district of Gdansk was opened – LAZNIA 2 Centre for Contemporary Art, where, in addition to visiting exhibitions, visitors can take advantage of an art reading room, library, open animation studio, cinema, and attend a wide range of workshops. The process of adaptation of the building was a part of the revitalization of the Nowy Port district, and it is also located in renovated, former public bathhouse building.
The two institutions form an integrated space for artistic activities that extends from Lower Town to Nowy Port districts. Gdansk’s visual identity has been enhanced through art installations and eye-catching interventions involving Polish and foreign artists invited to cooperate with us. The activities of LAZNIA CCA are divided into main fields: Art in Public Space, Art & Science, International Exchange, Education. LAZNIA organizes exhibitions, residences, performances, public space interventions, workshops, conferences, lectures, concerts, film projections, educational activities and publishes books.
Artists and Curators in Residence Program at LAZNIA CCA is dedicated to both Polish and foreign artists and curators, representing various art disciplines. Program invites residents whose work complies with the focus areas of the institution’s activity. The selection process is based on an open call, as well as invitations by the curators.
Since 2012, there have been over 100 artists, curators and researchers taking part in the program from all around the world. Apart from hosting its guests, the Residency Program includes bilateral exchanges with international partners (such as yearly residency exchange between Gdansk and Strasbourg or Gdansk and Modena, in collaboration with art academies and other cultural organizations). The program supports also young artists from different fields, by introducing AIR Incubator program, which focuses on collaboration with professionals and art experts.
The Residency Program is held in LAZNIA 2 CCA building – the second branch of the institution, located in Nowy Port district in Gdansk. The top floor of the former public bathhouse building was converted into residency space with rooms available to invited artists, curators and researchers. In the building there is also a gallery, workshop spaces, studio cinema and library.
The crucial element of the program is supporting inclusive projects that diversify and broaden the audience and build relationships based on sharing knowledge. Its main pillars are collaboration with the local community, experts, artists, curators, scholars, Academies, other organizations, as well as creation of a space for dialogue, learning, research and experiments, often aimed to support long-term and cooperation-based processes. Within the Residency Program we try to search for new definition of residency, focused on thorough engagement and research as well as interdisciplinary approach.
Arranged on a case-by-case basis.
There is a studio space available for artists, arranged according to the needs.
In LAZNIA 2 CCA building there are 8 residency rooms with bathrooms, each with basic furniture, small fridge, kettle, and iMac computer. Residents can use a common kitchen, also equipped with the washing machine.
The building consists also of a gallery, cinema, library and workshop space, that can be all used by the artists according to their needs.