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About Festival

Created in 2009 NARRACJE Festival is an artistic event that explores urban plots and contexts by presenting light and video installations in the public space of autumn scenery of Gdańsk. This year’s NARRACJE, entitled Art thou gone, beloved ghost? (quotation from Lewis Carroll poem “Phantasmagoria”) is an unparalleled platform to wrestle with the ghosts that have alternately haunted and defined Gdansk over its centuries of history – replacing tired historical hand-wringing with colorfully cathartic theatre.

The 4th edition of the Festival will present large scale projections located at the intersection of performance, politics, illusion and implicit memories of this city’s architecture. They are harmonized in this effort: neither denying nor dwelling upon the city’s long and turbulent past, but employing its physical structures as theatrical stages to reflect and re-imagine. Beyond simple projection surfaces, each building and site will be employed as an active partner – feeding back into the light to forge a vivid exchange with the haunting, but no less holistic ghosts of Gdansk’s constitution. Art thou gone, beloved ghost? seeks to mine, explore and activate Gdansk’s hallucinatory relationship with its ancestors – both real and imagined.


The city’s architecture is tapped as an archive, partner and lens as this kaleidoscopic séance unfolds across the buildings, churches, waterways, and streets that have lived, observed and recorded the city’s history. As relics of a country’s life, these sites reverberate as landmarks within a historical trajectory marked (some would say marred) by the haunting presence of “the other.”



The artists include:

Carlos Amorales, Dark Mirror  (Mexico)

Jeremy Blake, Winchester (USA)

Aline Bouvy & John Gillis, Venusia (Belgium)

Oskar Dawicki, Wisielec / Hangman and Drzewo wiadomości / Tree of Knowledge (Poland)

Nathalie Djurberg, Deceiving Looks  (Sweden)

Mounir Fatmi, Forget and The Silence of St. Peter Martyr  (Marocco/France)

Hanna von Goeler, The Shadows Cast by Ordinary Objects (Germany/USA)

Claire Harvey, Then and after (UK/Holland)

Christian Jankowski, Angels of Revenge. Butcher (Germany)

Gabriel Lester, A Man of Action (Belgium/Holland)

Robin Rhode, Kid Candle and Piano Chair (South Africa)

Michal Rovner, More and Order  (Israel)

Hiraki Sawa, Migration (Japan)

Roman Signer, Heufieber (Switzerland)

Guido van der Werve, Nummer Acht: Everything is going to be alright (Holland)


Open call selection of projects:

Agnieszka Baaske, Mum / Mamo

Jago VJ & PLEQ, Inside_, av performance

Anna Krolikiewicz, Stół / Table

Michał Łagowski, Podejdź bliżej / Come closer

Patrycja Orzechowska, Kiedy rozum śpi budzą się demony. Nokturn / The sleep of reason brings forth monsters. Nokturn

Natalia Osuch, Dominik Rudasz, Bar-do

Piotr Wyrzykowski, Jak wychować władcę? / How to educate a ruler?

Iwona Zając, Krzysztof Topolski, Duchy / Ghosts


A special project on the Gdansk Shipyard:

16-17 November, 5:00-12:00 pm

1 Doki Street, Building175 A, Telephone Exchange, shipyard

Telephone Exchange/ former Artysts Colony, I am a tourist here myself / Sam nie jestem stąd


Artists taking part in the project:

Michał Andrysiak, Kuba Bielawski, Bogna Burska, Krzysztof Leon Dziemaszkiewicz, Dickie Dreams Soundsystem (Krystian Wołowski+M.Bunio.S), Adam Hryniewicki, Piotr Jahołkowski, Radek Kobus (Decay Sound), Tomasz Kopcewicz, Lipali, Honorata Martin, NAVIGATORGONG (Robert Usewicz+Joanna Jordan), Agata Nowosielska, Anna Orbaczewska, PGR ART (Robotnik Sztuki Mikołaj Robert Jurkowski, Robotnik Sztuki Sylwester Gałuszka), Julia Porańska, Cicho, cicho project (Olimpia Dębska, Ola Fijałkowska, Emilka Garska, Kama Kania, Karolina Piątkiewicz, Magda Małyjasiak, Adam Nagórski, Karolina Szambelan, Iwona Zając),projekt chlebalin/czerkas/łuniewicz, Queen Bitch (vc kristi), Maja Ratyńska, Maciej Salamon,snake / estern front soundNOsystem, Anna Steller, Studio à Propos, Michał Szlaga, Artur Trzciński, Tomasz Wierzchowski, Jolanta Woszczenko, Sebastian Woźniak, Konrad Zientara, Alina Żemojdzin.



About curator

I am a Canadian-born curator (b.1979 Toronto, Ontario) of Polish and Ukrainian heritage, currently living and working in the United States. Prior to 2012 I had never visited Poland, but had always wanted to know, and to feel the affect of my ethnic roots through a project marrying personal and professional identities. In every part of the world I have organized projects (which includes Canada, the USA, Brazil, Korea and Germany) I have mined the respective city as an archive – analyzing the people and place as symptoms of underlying cultural conditions. Organizing the 4th edition of the Narracje Festival provides the unparalleled opportunity to better know my deceased grandfather (from Krakow) and grandmother (from Lviv, when it was still part of this country) in a city that speaks to the mysterious, mythological and haunted nature of my Poland. My thesis – art thou gone, beloved ghost? – will translate the conflicted history of Gdansk into a surreal, cathartic place that activates the legends, architectures, traumas, complexity and richness of this city as an active collaborator.


The Poland I know through the experiences of my family is as much that of quirky customs, food and kitsch as one of ghosts, displacement, and an ambivalent bond with its aggressors. During WWII my grandfather was relocated (at the age of 13) from the blue-collar part of Krakow to a German fieldwork camp, near the time that my grandmother was similarly relocated to work the mines of a German city she never knew by name. They met in Germany after the end of World War II, and my mother was born in 1949 – in the manufactured military outpost of Hohenfels – amidst Polish exiles, American soldiers, and imminent emigration to Canada. I have never visited the birthplaces of either of my grandparents, but through the 4th edition of the Narracje festival I will imagine their memories and tap my visions as a phantasmagoria – mobilizing “the local” as a fertile site for an international drama.


I am driven by the way art and exhibitions can de-familiarize, reawaken and renew the social subconscious. My birthplace of Toronto (where I attended the University of Toronto) was an early, and ongoing opportunity to measure the capacity of art as a mirror within a colorful, if somewhat contested site of multiculturalism. After graduating with an MA in Curatorial Studies from Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, New York), my next major stop was in Winnipeg as the Curator of the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art (2005-2008). This was a tough, yet revealing experience into the rough edges of curatorial inquiry. As a timeworn, blue-collar city wrestling with Canada’s largest urban aboriginal population, geographic isolation, ghosts of socialist past and a plague-like climate, this city cultivated formative explorations of place as presence. This approach to project organization has intensified in my current home within the southeastern United States. Intrigued by the conflicted history of this region and its “outsider” status, I live Winston-Salem, North Carolina through a curatorial lens as curator of contemporary art (for the past 4 years) at SECCA – the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. As this city tries to re-imagine itself in a post-industrial environment (where previous staples of tobacco, textiles and furniture have been displaced), its evolution yields compelling avenues for curatorial study.


I have also been involved in the planning, organization and execution of projects that span local, national and international territories. From 2010-2011, I was one of five con- tributing curators to the USA-touring People’s Biennial, co-curated by Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffmann for ICI. In the summer of 2011 I was selected into a pair of high-profile curatorial residencies in Gwangju, South Korea and Berlin, Germany. From a global call for applications, I was chosen as one of 24 curators in Gwangju, and one of 15 curators in Berlin, to present research, participate in lectures, and contribute to notable exhibition/festival projects. In the former, under the tutelage of Ute Meta Bauer (and forcibly absent co-director Ai Weiwei), I took part in the realization of the 2011 Gwangju Design Biennale: Design is Design is Not Design. In the latter, I participated in the formation and activation of the SYNAPSE International Curators Network – a thinktank for young practitioners to exchange ideas and develop collaborations at the intersection of art and science. These projects, in concert with my work at the University of Manitoba (as a professor of theory and criticism), and sitting on juries in Canada and the United States to evaluate urban art initiatives, have collectively contributed to the approach I presently employ.


My recent achievement of the 2010 Tremaine Exhibition Award (for the 15-person group exhibition paperless) further propelled this approach of translating local eccentricities, idiosyncrasies and conditions into a global arena of discourse. I seek to do the same in Gdansk, congregating an international group of artists to meditate – in an expanded field – on the phantoms that alternately haunt and define the identity of this city. I’m inspired and excited to have you share in this exploration; in a project that forges a hallucinatory bridge between histories, memories and experiences as they mutate across time, city and space. Art thou gone, beloved ghost? entwines the Rosicrucian dreaming of 17th century Danzig Lutherans with Gdansk’s embattled relationship with its ancestors. As only the Narracje Festival can do, architecture is tapped as archive as this kaleidoscopic séance unfolds across the buildings, churches, waterways, and streets that have lived, observed and collected this city’s history. Uniting people and place, this show will engage the past to produce a richer present – where the stories of Gdansk will serve as ground for cathartic forum and global exchange.


– Steven Matijcio



5.00 – 12.00 pm
//installation opening hours
6.00 pm
//NARRACJE official opening with the artists and curator Steven Matijcio, at the courtyard of Main Town Hall, 47 Długa Str (entrance through Palowa Restaurant)
6.30, 7.00, 7.30, 8.00 pm
//guided tours (start from Palowa Restaurant, 47 Długa Str, No1 on the map), chosen installations, aprox. 120 minutes.
9.00 pm
//concert: Ballady i Romanse, DJ Lutto Lento / festival club, 49a Hall, shipyard

16/11 FRIDAY

5.00 – 12.00 pm
//installation opening hours
5.00 – 12.00 pm
//EXCHANGE / former Artist’s Colony, I am a tourist here myself, building 175 A, shipyard
5.00 – 7.00 pm
//debate: Res Publica Nowa + City Culture Institute, My MIĘDZYMIEŚCIE, with: Artur Celiński, Grzegorz Piątek, Kacper Pobłocki, Jacek Dominiczak, 39/40 Długi Targ Str
7.30 pm
//opening: Niklas Goldbach, Cykle, 4g, 34 Szeroka str and Gdansk City Gallery 1, 27 Piwna str
8.00 pm
//opening: Sokrates at Duchamp`s, IS Wyspa, shipyard
9.00 pm
//concert: Robert Piernikowski, Kristen / festival club, 49a Hall, shipyard


12:00 – 1.00 pm
//City lights – workshops for children between 5 and 8, lead by Ole!Collective, 39/40 Długi Targ str
3.00 – 5.00 pm
//Dance in a box – workshops for cildren between 6 and 12, lead by Magda Reczyńska, Patrycja Świderska, 39/40 Długi Targ str
5.00 – 12.00 pm
//installation opening hours
5.00 – 12.00 pm
//EXCHANGE/ former Artist’s Colony, I am a tourist here myself, building 175 A, shipyard
5.00 pm
//Meeting with artist Niklas Goldbach, 4g, 34 Szeroka str
10.00 pm

// av performance: Jago VJ + music: Pleq, concert: Square Pirate / festival club, 49a Hall, shipyard

18/11 SUNDAY

12:00-1.30 pm
//City lights – workshops for children between 9 and 12, lead by Ole!Collective, 39/40 Długi Targ str
5.00 – 12.00 pm
//installation opening hours
5.00 pm
//concert: Anna Nova, 4g, 34 Szeroka str


Tours guided by the NARRACJE curator – Steven Matijcio

15/11 Thursday
7.00 pm
//Combined tour – Narracje Old Town + Shipyard, chosen installations (120 minutes)

16/11, Friday – 17/11, Saturday
6.00 pm
//Old Town (120 minutes), starts from Main City Hall, entrance throug Palowa Restaurant, Długa 47 str
9.00 pm
//Shipyard (120 minutes), starts from the Historical Gate to the Shipyard, next to the Three Crosses statue, Doki 1 str

18/11, Sunday
8.00 pm
//Combined tour – Narracje Old Town + Shipyard, chosen installations (120 minutes), starts from Main City Hall, entrance throug Palowa Restaurant, Długa 47 str

Guided tours:

15/11 Thursday
6.30, 7.00, 7.30, 8.00 pm
//Combined tour – Narracje Old Town + Shipyard, chosen installations (120 minutes), starts from Main City Hall, entrance throug Palowa Restaurant, Długa 47 str

 16/17 Friday – 18/11 Sunday
5.00, 6.00, 7.00, 8.00 pm
//Old Town (120 minutes), starts from Main City Hall, entrance throug Palowa Restaurant, Długa 47 str
7.00, 8.00, 9.00, 10.00 pm
//Shipyard (120 min), starts from the Historical Gate to the Shipyard, next to the Three Crosses statue, Doki 1 str

Wandering phantasmagorias – tours for children and parents,
different route every day, no need to enroll
16/11 Friday: 6:00, 8:00 pm
17/11 Saturday: 6:00, 8:00, 10:00 pm
18/11 Sunday: 6:00, 8:00 pm

duration: 60 min
start: Main Town Hall, entrance next to the Palowa restaurant, ul. Długa 47
organizers: Ole! Collective
more information:

By night Gdańsk will become a scenery for shadows and lights cast by magic lanterns. A group of ghosts – animators, parents and children will wander the streets of the Old and the Young City, wrapped in dusk. With Lanterna Magica, torches and lanterns in hand, they will illuminate the path before them and before the citizens of Gdańsk. This joint expedition through this year’s Narracje is a great excuse to remind the participants about the history of the city, familiarize them with contemporary art and tell new, remarkable stories.
Each day, the participants may take a different route, visiting selected locations of NARRACJE – each filled with puzzles, games and happenings. In less than an hour we will paint a “luminous veduta”, make the devil run for the hills and try to “encipher” the stars. All parents and children who don’t like to sleep between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. – come and join us on our magical tour!


Festival Club: 49a Hall, shipyard, Cafe Lamus + Avocado Vegan Catering,

Opening hours: 15–17/11 from 7.00 to 12.00

15/11 Thursday, 21.00: concert Ballady i Romanse, DJ Lutto Lento

16/11 Friday, 21.00: concert, Robert Piernikowski, Kristen

17/11 Saturday, 22.00: av performance, Jago VJ + music: Pleq, concert Square Pirate

Wymagana obsługa technologii Flash


Instytut kultury Miejskiej Miasto Gdańsk Ministerstwo Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego

Co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage



Instytut Sztuki Wyspa


Media Partners

Aktivist artluk Art&business

Gazeta Wyborcza Radio Gdańsk



YoungCity  Konsulat Generalny Niemiec w Gdańsku

Fundacja Współpracy Polsko-niemieckiej Muzeum Historyczne Miasta Gdańska Witek's

galeria pionova Apartamenty Stara Winiarnia Skarbiec Fahrenheit Hotel


Festival information:

Information about guiding with the curator, guides and guiding children::

Registration for the workshops for children during the festival:

PR of Narracje Festival: