_Modelarnia (Mock-up Room)

On 26 June 2012, the Modelarnia (Mock-up Room) was torn down after 10 years of activity because of the decision of the land owner Drewnica Development Company. The Modelarnia was organised on the premises of the former mock-up room of Gdańsk Shipyard as the co-operative of artists and a subsequent form of activity of the Wyspa Progress Foundation. The revitalisation of the shipyard premises, assuming the expansion of the city centre in the form of a modern, water-front area called the Young City, when with the artists entered the premises. The objective of this entrance was to revive the post-shipyard area and the change of the perception of Gdańsk inhabitants through art and alternative culture.

Modelarnia, situated fifty metres from the former Lech Wałesa’s workshop, decided for performative and collective activities as its strategy, becoming a piece of art itself. Being the artists’ co-operative, it opted for team work and mutual help. It favoured socially and politically committed art. Modelarnia became the venue where the artists not only created and presented their art but also lived and treated as their natural environment. Initially, it functioned as an atelier and storehouse only but it soon became the venue for more than 200 artistic events, workshops, lectures and concerts, and – especially – performances. It was here that important debates on the protection of industrial heritage took place, as well as the discussion "Appeal", carried during Dorota Nieznalska’s litigation and court trial. The artists of the Modelarnia, acting under extreme conditions, fighting against frost and the permanent shortage of finances, worked out their own, alternative economics which permitted them to be self-sufficient. On top of that, the Modelarnia, ensured absolute freedom and independence of any censorship and the individual responsibility of every member of the co-operative. Through all those years, we realised series of events, e.g. "The Cold", May-Picnics, and inter-media workshops Media-Nations. We were accompanied by a blog on the Three-City art entitled Modelator , run by Maks Bochenek, Roma Piotrowska and Ola Grzonkowska. It was here – in a quasi pub Barcelona – where the idea of the future Buffet Club was born.

In this place the following inter-disciplinary artists, photographers, designers painters, sculptors, curators, architects and musicians worked and had their ateliers: Low Res Group - Marek Jabłoński, Artur Gogołkiewicz, Joanna Maltańska + her cat Fredek, Aneta Szyłak, Małgosia Zwolicka, Zuza Malicka, Magda Matłacz and Wojtek Matłacz, Leokadia Kapuścińska + her cat Lodek, Monika Pudlis + her she-dog Modi, Agata Rogoś, Lena Dula, Paulina Neugebauer, Michał Szlaga + Monika Szuba + their dog Herman, Gabriel Roszak, Robert Kaja, Dominika Skutnik, Marek Frankowski, Grupa Low Budget – Maciek Ryniewicz and Filip Kozarski, Zbigniew Stefański and Kosma Klaman.

The Modelarnia is a subsequent activity which was liquidated after The Artists’ Colony, Znak Theatre, and Aku Atelier.

Grzegorz Klaman