WE ARE ALLOWED TO LOVE
park square, the area of Armii Krajowej Alley
For good and bad, Biskupia Górka, is a separate territory, a little town inside a city. The main narration of topography of Gdańsk breaks here; Biskupia Górka speaks its own story. On an allegoric level the district is a Kingdom, a microcosms inside macrocosms of the metropolis.
Each Kingdom sets its borders. On one hand, natural borders of Biskupia Górka are set by highways on one side and little private gardens transitioning into thickets of wild vegetation; the nature together with communication system of Gdańsk decides the district relative isolation, which separated from the city, turns to itself.
Martyna Jastrzębska sharpens the isolation of Biskupia Górka from the rest of Gdańsk and moves it to a symbolic level. At the place intuitively considered as a “gate” to the neighbourhood she places a concrete pillar, a border mark. By passing it we enter a different territory.
The border stones are signs of division. “Kingdoms” are protecting their borders, often spilling blood of its people to protect the territory from the Others. The pillar, however, set by Jastrzębska, instead of a state emblem holds an inscription We are allowed to love, writes the artist on the border of Biskupia Górka with type inspired by German Szwabacher font – and adds district’s geographic coordinates. In the artist’s intention calling up love redefines the symbolic of division and barrier, which is the essence of borders. But the border sign set up by Jastrzębska doesn’t separate, it invites.
Martyna Jastrzębska (1987) – multimedia artist, a graduate and a PhD candidate at Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, she works at Intermedia department. Redefining contexts for symbols and objects present in common perception and working on the conception of identity and memory set the direction of her former and present artistic activity. She is the laureate of NES Artist Residency Iceland for 2017.