Krzysztof Topolski & Iwona Zajac [Poland]


location: a shipyard wall, from the side of Jana z Kolna Str.

Collected in 2004 by Iwona Zając statements of the shipyard workers were edited and converted into mp3 format by Krzysztof Topolski. Recorded on old cassettes in the shipyard’s halls on the simplest dictaphone were not the best sound quality. Edited and restored but not stripped from any disturbances and sounds coming from the shipyard are a record of voices of people who no longer are a part of the shipyard. During the few days of the duration of Narrations audience will be able to rent cordless headphones, so they could move freely and listen to the recordings of shipyard workers in the areas of the unexisting/ existing shipyard wall. Perhaps the signal would be lost and the sound disturbed.
Krzystof Topolski and Iwona Zając are artists who are very much connected with the shipyard and the city of Gdańsk. Project Ghosts is their second project created together. They have begun their cooperation during making of the movie Shipyard’s Nike is leaving.

Iwona Zając about murales Shipyard: Shipyard is a recording of my conversations with the Shipyard workers. I wanted to tell a story of a man, his fears, needs, dreams; about life, work, plans never fulfilled. I was lucky to be the person who the Shipyard workers wanted to share their stories with. This project is my tribute to the people and the place.
Fragments of opinions of theShipyard workers:
When they launch a ship I feel proud that I contributed to its construction. I feel there’s a part of my labour in it. I got involved in this job and I have to stay here till the end although my health is getting worse and often I’m fed up with it all.
I’ve been working in the shipyard since 1963. When I began I was 14 years old and had my head in the clouds. I missed home and my mother. I lived with my relatives then. When I got back from winter holidays I was seized by such grief, I was crying heavily I couldn’t help it.
I didn’t think I would work so long here. 42 years in one place. I settled down here, that’s it. A part of me is in every ship. There’s even a kind of joy when a ship comes to our shipyard to be renovated.
I will miss this place for sure. When you retire you don’t know what to do with yourself, you miss this rhythm: wake up in the morning, go to work, go back.
When they were closing down some of the workshops I didn’t feel good because without a job – where, what should I do? Steal or what? It wasn’t pleasant. If you’re young it’s not a problem, if you’ve got skills you will always find something, but when you’re old you have to stick to one place.

Krzysztof Topolski aka Arszyn
Electroacoustic improviser, author of soundart projects, drummer. Key concepts in his work are noise and soundscape. He explores the area of percussion and live electronic, improvised and electroacoustic music. He composes with the use of computer, creates interactive and sound installations, organizes presentations and lectures on contemporary music and sound art and also runs workshops.
In 2009, together with Mariusz Waras, he created installation Fabryka (Factory) in CSW “Znaki Czasu” (Signs of Time) in Toruń and also presented the piece Folk Science as a part of Pandemonium project in AC Institute [Direct Chapel] in New York. He was awarded a sholarship of Museums Quartier in Vienna, artist-in-residence program (2004), Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (2007/2010), CCA “Kronika’, Bytom (2006) and Visegrad Fund residence program at Skolska 28 Gallery, Prague (2011). Took part in many festivals: Unsound, Line_in : Line_out, Wien Modern ’03 , Stimul ’05, Echofluxx ’11, Prague, Jazz and Experimental Music from Poland, ’11, London.
He cooperated, cooperate and ocasionally performed with musicians/artists/curators like : Mariusz Waras, Laurenz Theinert, Daniel Muzyczuk, Michał Libera, Tomasz Duda, M.bunio.S, Emiter, Piotr Kurek Tomasz Szwelnik, Thomas Lehn, Andrew Sharplay, Mikołaj Trzaska, free103point9, Wojtek Mazolewski, Ania i Adam Witkowscy, Lukas Jiricka, Tomasz Ziętek, Martin Blazicek, Dominik Bukowski, Hevelius Brass, Robert Sochacki, XV Parowek, Konrad Chyl, Tianna Kennedy, Damian Catera, Łukasz Ciszak, Columbus Duo, Łukasz Kos, Michał Borczuch, Tomek Kopcewicz, Mazzoll, Dagna Sadkowska, Michał Górczyński, Oleg Dziewanowski, The Amareya Theatre, Dźwiękospacery.

Iwona Zając
Born in Gdańsk, Poland in 1971. In 1999 she graduated from the Painting Department of the Gdansk Academy of Fine Arts. Since 2000 she has been working in the field of mural painting. Her work has been presented widely in Poland and abroad. In her work she focuses on social and feminist issues. Among her best known projects is “Stocznia” (“Shipyard”) – a series of templates on the exterior walls of Gdansk’s Shipyard, embracing the stories of shipyard workers connected with their lives and their work.
Together with Monika Popow, Iwona Zajac is a co-author of a book The Ideal Woman. From a guide to a dialog which will be released by The Gdansk City Gallery in October 2012.
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