Fot. Alina Żemojdzin
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Katarzyna Roj + Piotr Pawlak, Sączki, 2022, sound installation (15 min)


The work has a narrative character. We encourage you to listen in full (it begins every 15 minutes, starting from 5 p.m.).


There is a hidden city underneath this one: kilometres of channels belonging to two opposite kingdoms – purified water and sewage. Their architecture may be awe-inspiring, as Hans Christian Andersen wrote in 1867 after he visited Paris. You may have come here through a street of his name.

So, sit down and lend your ears.

In the 19th century, apartments in tenement houses started being fitted with water closets, and a “flushing culture” swept through Europe. Instead of landing in barrels or pits dug out in narrow yards, all human excretions disappeared to begin the transformative process. In 1863, the mayor of Gdańsk, Leopold von Winter, called a meeting. Gdańsk needs drinking water and new hygiene! Gdańsk needs channels! The mission to create them was entrusted to Eduard Wiebe, who suggested building a channel city underneath the metropolis. Instead of ending up in the sea, sewage flowing out of today’s downtown Gdańsk would be led to vast meadows at the foot of spruce forests between Stogi and Wisłoujście. There, they would be naturally filtered, beginning the transformative process. 

Sączki, as the area is called, now enjoy a life of their own, almost entirely taken over by nature. They are located nearby. What do you know about this place? As you listen, take a look at the old photograph of a model of these fields. Sit comfortably and activate neglected senses. What should our future infrastructure look like? 


The artists would like to thank Łukasz Darski for his collaboration and assistance.


Katarzyna Roj is a curator, editor, and author of numerous texts and publications on material culture. She is responsible for the programme of BWA Wrocław’s Dizajn gallery, focusing on the popularisation of such themes as socially responsible design, resilience, unevenly distributed consumption and the use of design tools in climate adaptation processes. Roj is currently running the long-term Żyjnia (Lifery) project in the gallery – a social and educational space inspired by the tradition of Lower Silesian spa palaces. She also explores aspects of regeneration in project activities. 

Piotr Pawlak is a musician and producer, author of music for theatre and ballet productions, films, and multimedia performances, and a member of the Arbuz Association. He played in Kury, Łoskot, Kaszebe, YeShe, and Bielizna; and is currently active in Cobra – John Zorn and Męskie Granie Orkiestra. Pawlak has produced several dozen albums. He organises sound workshops for children and people with disabilities, and his sound work forms part of the Gdańsk Collection of Contemporary Art.


› Download transcript of the installation



Katarzyna Roj + Piotr Pawlak, Sączki, 2022, sound installation (15 min)

budynek dawnej hydroforni, ul. Dickensa 3

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Narracje #13