Svenska Konstkritikersamfundet

Swedish Art Critics’ Association (AICA) Uppsala May 17, 2001

Mr. Tadeusz Gleinert
Cultural Commission of the City Council

Concerning Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art

Information has reached us that the Cultural Commission of the City Council of Gdansk takes into consideration to change the Regulations for Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art and include severe restrictions for the Director.

The Swedish AICA supports the statement of the international Bureau of AICA from February 2001. ”AICA deplores the politicised interference of government administrators, public officials, and private associations against art institutions, their directors, curatorial staff, and exhibition programs.”

It is shocking to listen to the ongoing attacks on Laznia, an institution which has contributed to the international art scene with a series of stimulating exhibitions. Laznia is one of the art centres in the Baltic area, which breaks fresh ground and attracts the audience with its enthusiasm. The Centre has produced several highly acclaimed exhibitions. It is of vital interest for the whole region that the Director and her curatorial staff will have the possibility to continue the exhibition program in an independent way.

The exhibitions curated by Aneta Szylak, the Center’s dynamic and defiant Director, which I visited, both the ones at Laznia and the Rauma biennial, showed professionalism. They were inspiring and provoking.

In June 1998 Aneta Szylak participated in the AICA round table ”The New Europe. A Cluster of Peripheries” during the opening days of Manifesta II in Luxembourg. She informed the international audience about the strategies of Laznia. At the beginning of the summer 1999 Aneta Szylak initiated and arranged in an excellent way the Post Congress tour of AICA to Gdansk.

The Swedish AICA assumes that the Cultural Commission of the City Council of Gdansk will consider its responsibility and confirm that the Director and the curatorial staff of Laznia will have the possibility to continue their exhibition program and other activities without politicized interference and with the necessary financial resources.

Yours sincerely,

Christian Chambert
President of Swedish AICA
Vice president AICA