Artystyczne i naukowo-dokumentacyjne podróże po łódzkim Manhattanie
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In 1991, an innovative and original artistic space was created by Krystyna Potocka-Suwalska on the ground fl oor of a block of fl ats in Łódź’s Manhattan district (which is a housing estate dating from the 1970s). Since the very beginning, a signifi cant part of the program of the Manhattan Gallery, which presents trends important to modern art as well as artists linked with alternative culture (including music, literature and activities from the borders of various artistic disciplines), has been joining or in many cases initiating a discourse on the city. Importantly, projects run by The Manhattan Gallery have not been limited to activities closed within the gallery space, provoking artists to set off on a peculiar, real and conceptual journey around the city and around a specifi c area within its structure, namely a communist housing estate, whose name was borrowed from the very heart of capitalist New York, Manhattan, and transferred to worker’s Łódź. The question of a place’s context and its artistic penetration has always been an important element of the Manhattan Gallery’s functioning and artistic establishment. One of the fi rst activities of that kind was an educational and social project A guide to Manhattan (Przewodnik po Manhattanie) carried out at the end of 1995/beginning of 1996. It provoked both audience and authors to make a unique journey promoting a new outlook - discovering, interpreting and understanding Łódź’s city space, namely the Manhattan housing estate. After ten years, the same people made a journey around Manhattan once again. Another confrontation with the city provided a strong impetus to a new self-refl ection and resulted in the project A guide to Manhattan. 1995-2010. Continuation (Przewodnik po Manhattanie. 1995-2010. Ciąg dalszy). As far as art and science are concerned, the journeys around Łódź’s Manhattan fosters a divulging memory and identity of the place through creating multi-layered micro-narrations. Creative activity provides an opportunity for diagnosing as well as undertaking a peculiar assessment of this anonymous urban space.
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