Grassomania 10 opencall for projects


You are welcome to submit your offers concerning artistic projects that will be presented as part of the 10th edition of the Grassomania Festival organised by the Gdansk City Gallery.

The title of this anniversary edition of the festival inspired by Günter Grass – the patron of one of our branches – is supposed to trigger the unusual view of the city involving all senses, and not only the most privileged one – the sight. Through various artistic interventions at selected locations in Gdansk we would like to highlight the city’s interesting spaces which can best be spotted by its inhabitants and sensitive artists. We would like to share those reflections with the spectators of the Grassomania Festival on September 2nd.

The 10th edition of the Grassomania Festival will traditionally take place within the public space of Gdansk. Locations that are of interest to us have been selected during workshops by these Gdansk inhabitants who were willing to look at their city from an artistic point of view. Materials concerning selected locations that have been collected as an online archive (the Inspirations Bank should be used as a trigger for artists submitting their propositions to be  completed within the festival. We wish to encourage you to take the challenge, get inspired by Gdansk as seen by its closest inhabitants, and to share your own ideas concerning sensual memory and seeing the city through senses. After all, each of us has their own unique experience to share, just like Grass’s childhood memory of the sound, taste and smell of fizz powder on the tongue.

Organising party: Gdansk City Gallery
Grassomania Festival date: September 2nd, 2018 (12.00 p.m. – 8.00 p.m.)
Venue: see map
Due date of applications: July 15th, 2018
Date of announcing the results: July 31st, 2018
Address for submitting applications:
Curator: Marta Wróblewska

All applications must include:

– project description

– project visualisation

– technical specification

– estimated price of work production (if applicable)

– proposition concerning project location (in accordance with locations listed on the map on that is:

1. The Cow Gate including waterfront

2. Powroźnicza street

3. Pończoszników street

4. Long Waterfront

5. Mariacka street

6. Św. Ducha street

7. Plebania street

8. Podkramarska street

9. Grobla I street

10. Świętopełk Park

– a short note on the author/authors including contact information

Total remuneration for project author/authors shall amount to PLN 1000 gross. An additional pool of PLN 10 000 has been allocated for the production of works, and it will be disposed in accordance with production needs of selected projects based on the valuation made by authors. The Gallery shall provide technical assistance necessary for the assembly and disassembly, the equipment necessary for the completion of projects and transport of works within the Tricity.

Projects for completion shall be chosen by the organising parties of the Festival. The results of selection shall be published no later than July 31st, 2018 on the organiser’s website

Additional information:

The Inspirations Bank is an interactive database including various materials related to interesting spaces in Gdansk. The selection of venues and materials collected and related thereto by the inhabitants may be supplemented on a continuous basis. Venues marked on the city map, as well as the accompanying sounds, colours, impressions and memories collected in the form of photographs, recordings, sketches, notes etc. constitute the database for consecutive artistic actions. In this way, we enable the inhabitants to co-create art and encourage them to take up creative discourse with artists. Joining the Inspirations Bank, anyone is entitled to take part in the artistic creation of the expression of our city’s space. The Inspirations Bank project and Creative Workshops related thereto have been organised in cooperation with the Inicjatywa Miasto Association as a part of activities accompanying the European Union project: Creative Europe, The People’s Smart Sculpture.

Grassomania is a project dedicated to Günter Grass, building its own programme around the works of the Nobel Prize Winner that is the object of interpretation and inspiration for contemporary artists. Each edition of the Grassomania Festival is aimed at completing a variety of activities allowing for versatile preservation of the memory of Günter Grass as well as creative approach to his output. 2018 shall hold the 10th edition of the festival as part of which we shall enter the city space, and our senses shall help us in experiencing it.

10. GRASSOMANIA: Fizz Powder on the Tongues

In his numerous literary accounts, Günter Grass would mention the time of his childhood spent in the pre-war Danzig, searching for the tracks of his identity in the post-war Gdansk using his senses. Walking through the city with Grass’s protagonists or Grass himself, we hear the call of approaching seagulls, a clatter of a passing tram, a religious song or whispered prayer coming from inside of thick gothic church walls, chimes from the town-hall tower, the splashing of sea waves. Particular places or situations trigger specific sensual memories, such as the taste of fizz powder on a tongue, repeatedly evoked by Grass as a the symbol of his childhood. The mustiness of Gdansk basements, the smell of the Radunia canal flowing both over and underground, the scent of parsley, mushrooms and flowers sold at the market, the floating dust of church floors, the heat of old bricks scorched by numerous fires, the touch of a piece of amber in which all memories and legends of all time are contained – these all form a multi-sensual experience of both the history and the present of the place we live in.

A renowned Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa in his inspiring books, The Eyes of the Skin and The Thinking Hand devotes much of his attention to the sensual reception of the city. His reflections are centred around the physical experiences of the environment, conducive to re-integration of all five senses, separated from each other largely by the current culture of technology. Taste is associated with returning to the archaic beginnings of the universe. Smells are able to evoke even the most distant memories. Touch connects us with time and tradition; after all, how many generations have touched the very same door handle entering, for example, St. Mary’s Church in Gdansk? The human body is linked to the city – legs measure distances, skin feels the texture and temperature of the surface of buildings surrounding us. Sounds define the space in which we are found. Pallasmaa not only encourages the reader to take pleasure in all these stimuli encountered during the stroll through the city, he also emphasises that those sensations, as the dominant value of reception of the reality, bind the human body to the tissue of the city, reducing the feeling of alienation and loneliness. ‘I live in a city and the city dwells in me,’ Pallasmaa writes, proving that it is the architecture and art that activate and integrate sensual experiences linking man with the outside world, organizing his existence. This intimate and direct multi-sensual interaction between man and the city, experienced through eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin and muscles seems to be the essence of human existence, coded in the surrounding buildings by the work of generations of predecessors. Therein are written the memory and history we are all rooted in and on the foundation of which we build our collective and individual identity. The city is the guarantor of the continuity of history and culture. Thus, with the ‘eyes at the fingertips’ (as the Finnish designer Tapio Wirkkala used to say) and with the memory of the taste of fizz powder on our tongues, we enter the city to experience, understand, feel, absorb and learn it anew.