if we stop now, they’ll crush us like bedbugs – Post Industrial Revolution, Gdansk.


Alina Pienkowska was a nurse at the clinic (situated just inside the main shipyard gates) during the strikes in Gdansk Shipyard, 1980. The story goes that early in the strike, the phones were cut to the outside except those that belonged to the clinic where Alina worked. She phoned Jacek Kuroń in Warsaw who was one of the founding members of the Worker’s Defence Commitee and the word was out, movements could be made.

Against a teleological consensus, this installation explores the recent history of Poland through that point in time when Alina picked up the phone, and the idea of the enormous history caving in through the walls – the violent, understated and (in our experience) sometimes disregarded dissidence of the 1970s and beyond; the formation of Solidarność, martial law and the future plans for the shipyard, the young city, the power of gentrification.

A looped soundtrack was played through 4 speakers during the exhibition. The soundtrack elucidates details of the 1970s in Poland and explores the humming expression of the interior of a nearby hotel (which was once a hospital which Alina worked in and is now one of the newer buildings in the shipyard landscape). Listen.

This site specific installation was created in May 2011 by louie+jesse inside the kiosk outside Wyspa after being invited by Post-Industrial Revolution to take part in a month long residency, it was exhibited from the 4th – 12th June 2011.


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