In der Ausstellung „Im Raum des Imaginären Bootes“ führen Fotografien aus allen bisher durchlaufenen Projektphasen von „ŁÓDŹ – BOOT“, sowie die mittels eines Frequenzdarstellungsverfahrens visualisierte Tonarbeit „Tondokumente zum Lodscher Boot“ die Besucherinnen und Besucher in das Umfeld des von mir dabei postulierten imaginären Lodscher Bootes. Parallel zu dieser Ausstellung realisiere ich an verschiedenen Orten und Gebäuden in Lodz, ua in den Räumlichkeiten des Hotel Savoy Lodz oder des Central Museum of Textiles, Tonaufnahmen für die in Arbeit befindliche Projektphase VIII „Mr. Bloomfields Boot“.


Łódź – there is no prettier name for a city born out of fluid modernity and industrial revolution. The name, the appellation built from frames, consubstantial for rivers and basins. In the Łódź range, those reservoirs and watercourses exist in a much more underground way than the surface one. It was them that attracted Antonia Petz, ‘influenced’ her artistic experiments, tempted with the emblem of the city cast on the manhole hatches, visible on the office boards, signboards, advertisements and transportation tickets of a contemporary postindustrial metropolis. This is how the “Łódź – Boat” project was born, in which art of social engagement connected two tributaries, the fluid identity and imagination in one strong current. Petz drew the citizens of polis into the profundity of interaction, she invited them to “float” their own, little boats of imagination in the stream of an artistic story. The artist began her project in 2007 with registering a photographic presence in the iconosphere of Łódź of its emblem as well as canals and regulated bigger and smaller rivers disappearing and appearing again in the infrastructure of the city, compassing its undergrounds and spewing out in the quarters deprived of its industrial function long ago. Hence the photographic documentation PHOTO SERIES ŁÓDŹ I which marked the first phase of the project. The documentation was accompanied by a reflection which could be summarized with a question: what senses on the way down to the bottom could art, which will set forth on a cruise with the city emblem, the land of the promised modernity, city not located upon any reservoir, and whose rivers and watercourses roll their currents underground, like the biblical waters of Tehom under Jerusalem – the city model of space, filter through? The effect of the artistic photo documentation came into being as phases II and III of the project under the heading SEARCHING FOR THE BOAT in a form of a photographic installation in the library of the Biology Department of University of Vienna. This part of the project was filled with reflection over the meaning of the city emblem and name and the inhabitants’ awareness of them. This very reflection transformed into a meager record of questions accompanying the photos which “accosted” students of biology of the Vienna University. Phase IV of the project was realized in the space of Gallery 87 of the Council of Łódź through a presentation of photographs from documentary series and an interactive installation in a form of a ship’s cabin, in which were recorded short, imaginative narrations of participants of the exhibition in a response to a question: “What would you do if you had a boat?” This “floating” confessional of imagination gave the material to create phase V of the project – the visualization of waves of emotions, tenors and voice pitches in a form of a pulsing diagram. Phase VI was a presentation of an extended photographic documentation, as well as a record and visualization held, once more, in the space of Gallery 87 in Łódź. Antonia Petz is coming back to Łódź after a decade to realize phase VII of the Project: ask inhabitants of Łódź the same questions, confront their stories with undeniably positive transformation of the city space. Where has the Boat (Łódź), which is standing still, anchored in its postindustrial history, arrived?

Text zur Ausstellung: Przemysław Owczarek
Übersetzung aus dem Polnischen: Monika Tomaszewska-Walczak