We know the curatorial duo responsible for the 11th edition of NARRACJE. Sylwia Szymaniak and Sarmen Beglarian have curated the Keret House in Warsaw since 2006, they jointly run the Exhibition Bureau art space of the Polish Modern Art Foundation and they’ve both been involved in preparing the Wola Art Festival in Warsaw. The next edition of NARRACJE will take place on 15-16 November 2019. This year, various art installations and interventions will take over the Siedlce district of Gdańsk. NARRACJE festival is a joint initiative of the City Culture Institute and Gdańsk City Gallery.

‘In our opinion, the concept presented by Sylwia Szymaniak and Sarmen Beglarian is most suited to Siedlce – the site of this year’s NARRACJE. Their curatorial vision presents the greatest potential for discovering the district, which remains little known among Gdańsk locals, festival guests and tourists alike. We highly rate the manner of exhibiting works, which is close to the typical NARRACJE format. We also see considerable added value in the proposed accompanying events, which – in our opinion – may bring a more lasting effect and contribute to a cultural revival of the Siedlce area’, the competition committee explained in their justification.

The competition committee responsible for selecting the curator of NARRACJE #11 was composed of: Aleksandra Szymańska (Director of the City Culture Institute), Piotr Stasiowski (Director of the Gdańsk City Gallery), Ewa Łączyńska-Widz (Director of the BWA in Tarnów), Olga Wysocka (Deputy Director of Zachęta National Gallery of Art), Mariusz Waras (artist).

‘We’ve organised four editions of the Wola Art Festival in Warsaw, which is why we are familiar with working with municipal officials and locals who don’t have everyday contact with contemporary art and only get such an opportunity thanks to the festival. Discovering the complex history of Siedlce in Gdańsk will be an interesting new challenge for us and we’ll be happy to take it up together with the invited artists,’ commented Sylwia Szymaniak and Sarmen Beglarian.

‘The festival will include exhibitions in specially arranged locations, public art installations, workshops and social actions created through collaboration between artists and local inhabitants. We are going to announce an open call for works, with which we would like to supplement the festival’s narration with performative projects,’ the curators further discussed their plans.

Gdańsk-Siedlce. The 2019 festival district

NARRACJE #11 will take place in the Siedlce neighbourhood. Owing to its favourable location, this area was populated since the Middle Ages and its settlements formed the suburbs of Gdańsk. In the 19th century, Siedlce was incorporated into the city and the green suburbium gradually began to turn into a working-class neighbourhood. The 20th century accelerated the transformation process, the effects of which may now be observed. In terms of architecture, Siedlce is one of the most varied districts of Gdańsk. One may find pretty much everything here: from tenement houses and working-class buildings from the 19th and early 20th century to soaring Gothic Revival edifices, from well-designed modernist housing projects to Socialist Realist housing estates and huge panel blocks of flats, from naive fairy-tale-like post-modernism to contemporary residential estates, fenced off from the rest of the district.

Organized by: the City Culture Institute | Co-organised by: Gdańsk City Gallery



Sylwia Szymaniak (b. 1982) is a curator and organizer of exhibitions and art events. She graduated in Art History from the University of Warsaw. Since 2010 she has been employed at the Polish Modern Art Foundation. Together with Sarmen Beglarian, she has run the Keret House project and the Exhibition Bureau art space of the Polish Modern Art Foundation since 2016. She has organized a series of exhibitions and art projects in Poland and abroad, including: Zuzanna Ginczanka. Only Happiness Is Real Life (Centre for Urban History of Central and Eastern Europe, Lviv 2018), Krystian Burda. The Road to Żelazowa Wola (Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, 2017), Hubert Czerepok. National Landscapes (Trafó Gallery, Budapest 2016), Young Poland. Afterimages of Reality (Ludwig Museum, Budapest 2016), Zuzanna Ginczanka. Only Happiness Is Real Life (Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature in Warsaw and Museum of History of Photography in Kraków, 2016), Behind the Iron Curtain. Official and Independent Art in the Soviet Union and in Poland, 1945–1989″ (Museum of Yugoslavia, Belgrade 2010 and Oliwa Palace, Contemporary Art Division of the National Museum in Gdańsk, Gdańsk 2012); Wola Art Festival (2009 and 2010 editions). She is the co-editor of the following publications: Krystian Burda. Droga do Żelazowej Woli – Studium czasoprzestrzeni (Warsaw, 2014); Wspólne Miasto. Warsztaty o przestrzeni publicznej (Warsaw, 2013).

Sarmen Beglarian (b. 1973) is a curator and co-curator of exhibitions, festivals and installations in galleries and the public space. He graduated in Psychology from the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw and completed a Postgraduate Curatorial Course at the Jagiellonian University. He regularly collaborates with the Polish Modern Art Foundation in Warsaw. Together with Sylwia Szymaniak, he runs the Keret House project and the Exhibition Bureau art space of the Polish Modern Art Foundation. He has organized a series of exhibitions and art projects in Poland and abroad, including: A Common City. Creating the Urban Landscape (architectural workshops, Katowice, Lublin, Warsaw, Wrocław 2018); Jacek Damięcki. Architecture as an Experience of Space (Museum of Architecture in Wrocław, 2018); Jacek Damięcki. Macro-forms (Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw 2016), Zuzanna Ginczanka. Only Happiness Is Real Life (Adam Mickiewicz Museum of Literature in Warsaw, 2015), The 2nd  Sculpture Biennale in Warsaw, Wola Art Festival 2010 (Wola District, Warsaw, 2010), UrbanProjectWola, Wola Art Festival 2009 (Wola District, Warsaw, 2009), Happiness, Wola Art Festival 2008 (Wola District, Warsaw 2008).

Insytut kultury Miejskiej 2016