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21 Jun 2013

Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art

The Łaźnia 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. Their only chance to realize their projects was to create their own art space – one free from censorship, prejudices, stereotypes and inhibitions. An old and dilapidated former public bathhouse on Jaskółcza street first opened in 1908, turned out to be an ideal space for showing art. In response to a grassroots initiative by artists, in 1998 the Gdańsk City Council designated it a municipal cultural institution: the Łaźnia Centre for Contemporary Art.

The Łaźnia 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 by organising of exhibitions, artistic exchanges, innovative educational programmes, academic conferences, lectures, concerts and film screenings.

We have organised numerous concerts, film presentations, meetings and panel discussions. In response to the great need for these types of events, in 2012, we opened an affiliate in Nowy Port – Łaźnia 2 Centre for Art Education, where, in addition to visiting exhibitions, visitors can take advantage of an art reading room, library, open animation studio, and cinema, and attend a wide range of classes and workshops. The job of adapting the Łaźnia 2 facility for cultural purposes was entrusted to us in 2008 as part of the revitalization of the Nowy Port district, and, in accordance with the name of the institution, it is located in a former public bathhouse at Strajku Dokerów 5 Street.

We have become one of Poland’s leading exhibition venues. In 2012, the gallery was one of seven Polish galleries listed among the 400 top places showing contemporary art in the world, by the prestigious Art Spaces Directory, published by New York’s New Museum of Contemporary Art in collaboration with ArtAsiaPacific.

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