Collection “What do you see?” contains objects used in the exhibition of the same title, presented at the Gdynia City Museum from April 5 to June 17, 2018.
The exhibition’s theme is taking a look at archival photographs of Gdynia.
In the museum we arranged a number of situations which could help to look at the photos in various ways. Some of them require specific gesture or movement; others – unleash the imagination; still others – invite to look at what seems obvious from an unusual perspective.
We offer simple experiments that don’t necessarily lead to pre-planned results.
The photo collections of the Gdynia City Museum contain over 40,000 photos.
It’s a special collection for several reasons. First, Gdynia, which was granted city rights in 1926, is the only large Polish city younger than the invention of photography. As a result, its story is largely photographed.
Secondly, the opening of the Gdynia temporary port in 1923 coincided with the production of the Leica 35mm camera, which, thanks to its small size and technical capabilities, revolutionized photography – it was when the new Gdynia was emerging that reportage photography began to develop, and private photography became common and available.
Thirdly, Gdynia is a city that is considered very photogenic. The long, straight streets, modernist architecture, ships in the port, people on the beach, and finally the horizon line separating the sky and the sea, which in the interwar period could be photographed for the first time as “Polish”, encourage taking photos.
“What do you see?” is an exhibition whose title is the question. We assume that during the exhibition tour, you can formulate your own observations and conclusions regarding looking at the photograph and its interpretation. Thanks to an unusual look at the archival photos of Gdynia, you can also look at the past to see the present day of the city from a slightly different perspective.