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Confrontations: Sessions in East European Art History

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Galeria Wschodnia

editorial3 March 2020

Hana Buddeus

After an intensive day spent at Muzeum Sztuki, we were happy to go out and experience the reality of the post-industrial atmosphere of the city of Łódź. During a visit to the Galeria Wschodnia, we were presented with an opportunity to zoom in on the image of the 1980s Łódź art scene, which we had been introduced to through the presentations that morning.

The gallery – established in the early 1980s and one of the oldest artist-run spaces in Poland – is still situated in the same location, an old apartment building on Wschodnia street. It consists of two gallery rooms, a guest room used by artists in residence, and a kitchen, the place of social interaction, under the reign of a cat, Benek, who has experienced the gallery’s entire long history. Adam Klimczak, one of the two artists who has run the space from the very beginning, was kind enough to not only show us the current exhibition but also let us enter the kitchen, where he recounted some of the adventures connected to the place. A recently published book Galeria Wschodnia. Dokumenty 1984-2017 / Documents 1984-2017, edited by Tomasz Załuski, confirms (and reassesses) the historical importance of the space.