Business and management concept
Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art
in Słupsk in 2020 – 2024
I base the concept of operation and management of the Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art in Słupsk on the knowledge and experience of twenty-four years of professional work in this institution, from mid-2006 to the present, as its director.
I created the program assumptions based on the continuation of the program from previous years, which is focused on presenting progressive art of an interdisciplinary nature, and is also consistent with the program of artistic education, art in public space and socially engaged art with a strong emphasis on work for the community. local. I adapted the institution’s activities to different conditions, but also to new opportunities caused by the pandemic.
The Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art in Słupsk is the only institution in the Słupsk subregion dealing with the popularization of contemporary art. The main task of BGSW is to present the latest phenomena, tendencies and trends in current art and broadly understood artistic education as a cognitive tool in the communication triad: artist – work – recipient. The Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art is an institution of significant opinion-forming importance in Poland; creating favorable conditions for participation in culture.
The Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art in Słupsk fulfills its mission as a place of interdisciplinary presentations and projects in the field of visual arts in connection with other fields of culture and science. BGSW is an international center of contemporary art on the outskirts of the country, which significantly influences the promotion of the Słupsk subregion. The institution conducts international cooperation with foreign art institutions and entities, artistic associations, and – as part of the artistic residency program – presents the achievements and projects of artists from around the world.
MAIN CONCEPTUAL ASSUMPTIONS
- presentation of the works of outstanding artists from Poland and abroad,
- promotion of young Polish art,
- collective exhibitions of a problem nature, presenting a wide spectrum of media, relating to local and global issues, as well as coinciding with various disciplines of contemporary knowledge, such as sociology, philosophy, anthropology and literature,
- implementation of scientific and research projects in cooperation with Polish and foreign art universities,
- enriching the collection of permanent works of contemporary art in the spaces of the dual city of Słupsk and Ustka and implementing “site-specific art” projects,
- continuation of the artistic residency program for Polish and foreign artists,
- implementation of a community program involving the local community,
- multi-faceted artistic education, using various forms and ad hoc adapted to all age groups,
- permanent expansion of the circle of active and conscious art recipients – searching and creating a new audience,
- strengthening positive relationships between the artist and the recipient,
- initiating creative activities of an interdisciplinary nature as a continuous process,
- recording and documenting achievements of contemporary art through the medium of photography and video – creating cultural heritage for future generations in the form of the Media Library.
IDENTIFICATION OF STRATEGIC GOALS
The management of a cultural institution depends on its specificity and strategic goals. The organizational structure of each facility has its own characteristics that influence the specificity of the activity. In the case of an art gallery, the manager must take into account the multi-aspect nature of its functions and activities. My task is to balance all components while maintaining the quality of the substantive program. I have been implementing both the mission and vision from the beginning of managing this institution. In the years 2020-2024, I will continue the chosen strategy, taking into account all aspects of the institution’s functioning:
– generating an increase in employee competences and creativity in connection with education and improving qualifications,
– increase in the number of full-time employees, and especially the employment of specialists: for publishing and promotion, educators, curators,
– significant increase in financial resources for BGSW publishing activities, implementation of modern forms of management and cultural activities and their financing, taking into account national and European funds as well as sponsorship and patronage,
– dissemination of contemporary art in the local, national and international environment,
– consistent action at the level of international cooperation in the field of building the so-called European added value with institutions with a similar profile,
– initiating projects aimed at using the creative functions of culture for the socio-cultural development of the cities of Słupsk and Ustka,
– acquiring recipients to actively and consciously participate in cultural activities,
– building positive lobbying for culture,
– multi-level promotion of BGSW artistic events.
My task, as the manager, is to take care of the image of the institution, based mainly on working with and influencing public opinion, i.e. opening a new space of activities for presenting contemporary art. I implement the substantive program of BGSW taking into account the specificity of the exhibition spaces available to the institution, and in each of them it is implemented in a slightly different way. Two salons – i.e. the Chamber Gallery and the Witches’ Tower – are designed as strictly exhibition salons, while the Creative Activity Center is designed as an international laboratory of contemporary art. My assumption (as the author of the concept of establishing the Center for Creative Activity) was that CAT was created not only as a place for the presentation of art, but above all, for the implementation of scientific research, residency, workshop and open-air projects. I intend to continue cooperation with art universities from Poland and Europe and implement further joint artistic projects.
One of the fundamental goals of the Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art is to introduce the local community to the works of the most outstanding Polish artists. I organize group exhibitions of a problem nature and projects which, as in previous years, present the spectrum of contemporary artistic practices, with particular emphasis on the complexity of trends, tendencies and individual attitudes in Polish and foreign art. This trend of exhibition policy will be represented by exhibitions of the so-called installation art, sculpture, video, painting and intermedia. In turn, an equally important goal will be exhibitions resulting from the analysis and deconstruction of contemporary problems, as well as articulating the connections between art and science. I intend to make the implementation of a series of problem exhibitions indirectly related to research projects and conferences, which, starting from 2021, will refer to socially and culturally important topics as an important form of the institution’s activities.
The first of them is an interdisciplinary project titled “Ethnos – and what next?” implemented and coordinated together with artists and employees of the Departments of Theory and History of Art in two Academies of Fine Arts – in Gdańsk and Katowice. Cooperation with these communities and institutions in the past has already brought measurable results – including: exhibitions and scientific monographs (“Explosion of the letter. Iconography of textuality, as a source of suffering” in 2017 and “Interspaces. Hommage and Otto Freundlich”. This time in the project and scientific conference “Ethnos – and what next?” I would like to artists and researchers from humanities disciplines (history, sociology, anthropology, psychology) examined all minority and ethnic groups on the example of areas of Poland which, due to their historical location, have a complex and ambiguous genealogical and social potential (including in the ethnic sphere). , nationality), examples of which can be found, for example, in Pomerania (Gdańsk, Sopot, Kołobrzeg, Koszalin, Słupsk) and in Silesia (Bytom, Gliwice, Rybnik, Katowice). The aim of the project is to recognize the structure of ethos, as well as to suggest the direction of changes and to make so that individual social groups regain visibility, recognition and make their identity clear in public space.
The second interdisciplinary project that I will be implementing at BGSW is a collective exhibition entitled: “The world of the spectacle”. The project is inspired by the concepts of Guy Debord, a French writer, sociologist and director, who in the book and film of the same title analyzed, defined and deconstructed the sphere of media through which we perceive the sphere of real life and gain our knowledge about the world. As Roland Barthes says, the image of the world is formulated depending on who is behind the media. This project will involve artists associated with the gallery for many years, and at the same time creators whose work skills and the media tools they use guarantee interesting projects, hence the selection of artists who are also the most important ambassadors of Polish art abroad: Mirosław Bałka, Józef Robakowski, Zbigniew Warpechowski, Paweł Susid.
Another research project planned for the coming years and implemented by the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk in cooperation with BGSW is the “Po-widoki” project. Synergy of technology and art. The clash of areas of art and science (technology, optics, or perception) and the search for interesting common areas are a reference to the phenomena of synergy and convergence described in the sciences, or the coming closer together of many processes involving the association of age-old phenomena. As part of work on the project, the implementers of the project are planning a several-day meeting at the Creative Activity Center in Ustka, which will be attended by photographers, filmmakers, video creators, theoreticians, academic teachers and selected students. Joint interdisciplinary activities in the form of workshops, lectures and panel discussions will allow us to expand the boundaries of the discipline. The research team will have a workshop and photographic and film equipment at their disposal. Artistic interventions, experiments and recorded documentation will summarize the concept, which is based on the desire to examine selected spatial relationships in the context of their perception. From the substantive point of view, the project will include artistic and theoretical explorations, the research area of which will be technologies and space framed in a visual framework. The analysis will cover both natural phenomena occurring in nature and those that may be an inspiration for creators, as well as artistic events or works of authors using the multimedia possibilities of technology in their creation. The interdisciplinary nature of scientific research will allow you to understand the relationship between visual arts and contemporary culture and to appreciate the importance of technology determining the right place. Research on the conditions and relationships between the represented artistic disciplines (photography, film, media art) and the changes taking place in culture, public space, society, etc. The aim of the project is to create a research team that, through the same area of research, implementation of several projects and joint cognitive activities, co-creating and describing problems related to space and perception, will develop their own type of visual and verbal communication. The aim of the task is to conduct a project in the formula of workshops and a symposium, assuming cooperation between educators from several centers in Poland and abroad (Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, Film School in Katowice, Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, UA in Poznań, Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, VŠVU in Bratislava, University of Silesia Institute of Creative Arts Photography in Opava, FAMU Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague) and several selected creators and students invited to research.
The main goals of our joint work are, among others:
– creating a space for public discussion about a problem that goes beyond the classical framework of art,
– attempts to answer questions about what an image is today and what its limits are,
– creating artistic, photographic, film implementations and theoretical considerations on space, mechanisms of visual perception and interpreting processes related to the perception and processing of visual information.
Cooperation with art universities from all over the country includes research projects of international importance. This is also the case with the “Laboratories” project, which I want to implement in the following years in the Creative Activity Center in Ustka in cooperation with the University of Arts in Poznań.
In the 21st century, many artistic projects were created by examining the borders of art, science, technology, information, human biology, and artificial intelligence. The laboratory provides views and projects of new art standards, e.g. about artistic projects for disabled people. The laboratory works on activities such as image and sound, body art, and alternative iconographic designs for sign language (for those who do not know this language, as well as for the blind). Communication, therefore, is a priority in laboratory research. Using a mobile phone by blind people (dance – thumb choreography). Work on multimedia flags (external projections on the CAT facade) – aimed at conveying ideas (respecting the recipients’ own feelings), mainly focusing on topics related to ecology (CATs are located directly on the Baltic Sea), local values, local and global social needs society. Creation of a digital platform as a place for presentation and exchange of information between artists, universities and art institutions participating in the research project /texts, images, films, videos/. Interdisciplinary research on new images in the era of the 21st century will be conducted from the perspective of anthropology and phenomenology, asking about the relationship between images and the human body functioning in culture and society, from an ontological perspective, examining the transformation of the digital data stream into visual, audio and virtual forms, from the perspective of art history and artistic practice, reflecting on the limitations and possibilities of the image when confronted with digital media, from a technological, artistic and aesthetic perspective, focusing on images generated using algorithms, databases, machine learning, artificial intelligence and virtual reality, and on software as an integral part of the artistic process and on the creative potential of digital technologies. The laboratory will operate in close consultation with professor of social psychology Agnieszka Golec de Zavala from Goldsmiths University in London and project partners. The planned scientific and practical effects of the completed research task are
– creation of a research laboratory focusing on the study of the painting/drawing phenomenon in the digital technology environment. The Image + Science Laboratory operates in a “wandering” manner as part of workshops, seminars, presentations, in all partner institutions: -Dr hab. Agnieszka Golec de Zawala – Goldsmith University, Associate Professor, London, Great Britain,
-Dr Valentina Torrado – DW, Berlin, Germany
-Dr. hab. Katarzyna Kujawska-Murphy, prof. UAP – author of the project concept.
An important element of my exhibition policy is the organization and creation of exhibition projects produced on site, carried out with a specific context in mind, i.e. time and place, and therefore the formula of the so-called site-specific art, covering the two cities of Słupsk and Ustka. An important element of my exhibition policy is the organization and creation of exhibition projects produced on site, implemented with a specific context in mind, which is time and place, and thus the formula of so-called site-specific art, covering with its area the bicity of Slupsk – Ustka.
Since last year I have been working on the concept, the establishment of a new art festival with a nationwide dimension – the Otto Freundlich Biennial of Current Art. This event is to be a development of the international project “Spaces between Spaces” (Hommage á Otto Freundlich), which I realized in 2019, in cooperation with Polish and German partners, represented by the German association “Verein Steine ohne Grenzen e.V.”, the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk and Katowice and the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation. Honorary patronage was provided, among others, by the Marshal of the Pomeranian Voivodeship and the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany. The planned Biennale of Current Art refers to the figure of the outstanding German (of Jewish origin) painter, sculptor and theoretician – Otto Freundlich.
It is extremely important for our “small homeland” that this artist originated precisely from Slupsk, where he was born in 1878 and where his family home is still located. This artist had biographical ties not only to Poland and Germany, but also to France, which was his last host country, before his arrest and death in a concentration camp during World War II. Freundlich is unquestionably considered in the world today as one of the ancestors of the first world avant-garde, a fact that cannot be overestimated for the city and the region. Therefore, in establishing a new Biennale of Current Art, I am keen to find connections between the aesthetic and conceptual leitmotifs, the work of the German artist from the early 20th century and current art. Since the formula of the biennial is to be an open and very artist-friendly platform, I have adopted the idea that the event should be dedicated to artists representing all generations and all tools of artistic expression. This theme is particularly relevant today, when the reality of the vast majority of art festivals and competitions is primarily to promote artists of the younger generation.
Based on the assumption that an important part of the formula for functioning as an institution is also to generate a platform for intergenerational and multimedia communication in order to meet the constant need to construct cultural meanings and articulate the emotions that accompany us through art created in different aesthetics, performed in different media and authorized by artists representing all artistic generations. I foresee, the appointment of a jury consisting̨ of recognized authorities of art criticism and practitioners of the curatorial scene. The biennial, which will take placę in 3 showrooms, will include artists’ self-presentations, vernissages and a panel discussion with jurors and art critics.
For years, BGSW has been presenting artists of the younger generation who are just entering the art scene. In this regard, one of the most important exhibition events is the organization of successive editions of the “Fish Eye” Biennial of Young Art. The first editions of the biennial featured artists who are so well-known today, such as Wilhelm Sasnal, Rafał Bujnowski, Marcin Maciejowski and Paulina Ołowska. Subsequent editions revealed personalities and talents that are now widely known on the art scene, to name just such artists as Natalia Bażowska, Bartosz Kokosiński, Magda Starska, Malgorzata Szymankiewicz, Ola Koziol, Magda Hueckel, Jana Shostak and Martyna Czech.
In the following years (as long as external conditions allow, i.e. no epidemiological threats), I will continue the residency program of international character, but not excluding the participation and cooperation of Polish artists. Preferred projects, artistic residencies concern socially engaged art. Among the invited artists will be artists who work in public space, involving the local community in their activities. The artists – by design – during the residency, refer to the place of their residence, that is, a small port town, involving the local community in their work (as much as possible).
The final result in most projects is a joint work by the artist with the residents. The program is cyclical, and the duration of one residency is expected to be 2 or 3 months. Each artistic residency is concluded with a summary and public presentation of the effect of the author’s work in the form of an author’s meeting, self-presentation or exhibition. Involving the local community in the implementation of artistic projects is both an element of audience building and extremely important for the functioning of the institution.
It is worth mentioning that since 2015 I have enriched the BGSW program with activities in public space. Together with invited artists, I develop issues of identity in the perspective of place and locality. The artists invited to implement the program, using various media, carry out their work in the areas of performance, video, sculpture or painting, which in turn ensures a diversity of activities and effects. Implementation of the program is combined with an artist residency program. Invited artists work on the basis of the residency program, and their projects are long-term. Socially engaged art is usually a processual activity, requiring above all the time needed both to carry out a series of activities and to wait for the results of these activities.
Another priority task of mine is the continuation of the “Art Park,” which is implemented, as a program of art in public space. In 2015, the collection of “Art Park” expanded with a light installation, placed on the facade of the Center for Creative Activity in Ustka. Starting next year, I plan to place more works that will enter into a dialogue with the spaces of the two cities where the Baltic Contemporary Art Gallery is located. The idea behind the “Art Park” is to take art out of the gallery and place it in everyday surroundings. The basis of my concept is to emphasize the relationship between the artist and the viewer, including the unprepared viewer. The art object, installation is to be generally accessible to the public. The project, by definition, is to serve the purpose of familiarizing the unprepared viewer with a new form of art.
The second primary goal of the BGSW’s statutory activity is educational activity, aimed at all age groups of viewers. The art education program is closely linked to the exhibition program of BGSW. The goal of all educational forms is to prepare an active viewer of contemporary art and to shape an open and creative attitude towards the surrounding reality. The constant search for a balance between what it means just to be and what touches the sphere of having implies all the more the contribution of humanistic culture and its tools for describing and interpreting reality, and proves all the more necessary for us today. Art education of society, especially its targeting of children and young people, should be crucial for the future of both culture and humanity. The most important task of art education is to open the field of perception and reception, and consequently also to prepare young people for the optimal reception of contemporary art for their abilities. So, on the one hand, it is a matter of imparting tools and discreetly raising the qualifications to create their own interpretation of a work of art, and on the other hand – to train the ability to express their own feelings and sensations verbally or through creative activity. The goal of education understood in this way is to prepare a conscious, active viewer of new art. The educational program facilitates the discovery of oneself as a creative individual, positively influences the development of personality, sensitivity, empathy and tolerance, while supporting the creative functioning of the individual in society.
Enriching the collections of the BGSW is the platform of the so-called Media-teka, which will be supported on an ongoing basis with documentation of all upcoming exhibitions. The media-teka will be available on our gallery’s website as early as next year. Currently, our collections are not available to the public, but are only a digital archive of BGSW. It is a multimedia archive of artifacts, photographic and film documentation of openings, exhibitions and art workshops. Currently, the BGSW’s Media-teka contains 51351 objects and is constantly being supplemented and updated. Only BGSW employees have access to the Media-teka data. I foresee, next year, making a large part of our resources available to the general public.
BGSW FINANCIAL CONCEPT
An important element of the financial concept is the system of setting goals and monitoring their implementation in close connection with performance budgeting tools. Performance budgeting is a key instrument of financial management, it allows for better allocation of financial and physical resources. The essence of the performance budget is to manage the activities of the BGSW by putting the objectives contained in the substantive program of the Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art into tasks to which the necessary amount of money is allocated. Financial management through task budget planning and execution can be divided into four stages:
1) defining objectives
2) planning of activities
3) implementation of the task budget
4) control and evaluation
I base the management of the Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art, to a large extent, on the skillful acquisition of external funds, both for substantive and investment activities. Given the current very difficult economic situation caused by the pandemic, this will be a task not easy to cope with. However, I have a lot of experience in obtaining external funds. The total amount of funding for all the projects for which I have obtained external funds since 2007 is six million zlotys, which is 50% of the subject grants received in 2007-2019.
To sum up, I understand good management of the Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art in Slupsk as consistent implementation of the set goals, based on the mission and vision of BGSW, making decisions in accordance with the law and transparent rules, which I will continue to follow, coordinating the work of the entire team.
Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art in Słupsk